ABC Film Challenge – Romance – V – The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (2017) Movie Review

Director: Shawn Christensen

Writer: Shawn Christensen, Jason Dolan (Screenplay)

Starring: Logan Lerman, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Michelle Monaghan, Blake Jenner, Nathan Lane, Margaret Qualley

Plot: Sidney Hall finds accidental success and unexpected love at an early age, then disappears without a trace.


Tagline – It’s all about beginnings.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Burn

Story: The Vanishing of Sidney Hall starts as we meet a student Sidney Hall (Lerman) who always wants to be challenged with his writing, which sees him writing a novel which takes the world by storm, seeing him become a success story overnight, only with new fame comes new consequences.

We split into three different times next, where we see how Sidney get the inspiration to write the book, from a student and mysterious neighbour Melody (Fanning), hie time in the spotlight and after his success has faded, a man known only as The Searcher (Chandler) looking for him to ask a big question, meeting the people from his life.

Thoughts on The Vanishing of Sidney Hall

Characters – Sidney Hall is a student that rebels against the school system, because he is always going to be too smart for the process, he gets his novel published at a young age becoming one of the most celebrated authors of a generation, before he gets caught in travelling around the country alone, we look to piece together each chapter of his life to understand each version of his characters mentality. Melody is the girl across the street who falls in love with Sidney, the two want to be free spirits, only life gets in their way, she does dream bigger, only once being an adult, she calms down. The Searcher is a man that is searching for Sidney, wanting to understand more about his life.

PerformancesLogan Lerman does grow into this role through the film, where he eases through the younger stage, but becomes far more captivating by the older stage. Elle Fanning is always a strong performer, bring her distant figures to life, in ways that show they can bring light to somebody’s life. Kyle Chandler is great to watch too, in his role, with the supporting cast all doing a wonderful job through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the life of young author Sidney Hall who struggled through school before rising to superstardom before falling off the wagon later in his life. We jump between the three timelines a lot, which can be sudden, even if we can tell the times apart easily. The story does hide the secrets from Sidney’s life away, waiting to show us what causes the sudden changes in his life. We do know that we will get plenty of secrets to come from each stage, which leaves us wondering, only for it to be more about waiting over anything else.

Mystery/RomanceThe mystery comes from what caused the changes in Sidney’s life, this is interesting to see, as we know each chapter is going to have something shocking happen, with the romance being one of the reasons Sidney takes a chance in life.

SettingsThe settings show us different stages of the life, which are used to show important places in his life.


Scene of the Movie – Learning the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does go very slow early on.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting idea for story that does try to cover too many different timelines to be truly enjoyable, despite having an ending which is great to see.

Overall: Slow start, nice finish.

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