The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

Ned Benson‘s The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby was first screened at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, to hooting, hollering, and an air of general acclaim. So when this year’s Cannes Film Festival unveiled its lineup and Eleanor Rigby made the cut, I doubt anyone’s eyes were boggling out of their head, Tex Avery cartoon-style. Except for one pesky detail that made absolutely zero sense. On the official Cannes documentation, Eleanor Rigby is marked with the running time of one hour and fifty-nine minutes. Confused? You should be — not only is Eleanor Rigby not two hours long, but it’s not even one movie. To get the full Eleanor Rigby experience, you’ve got to watch it twice. Sort of. First, you see The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His, which chronicles the collapse of an extremely good-looking marriage from the perspective of its husband, played by James McAvoy. Then you watch the same movie again, but now it’s got a subtitle of Hers and it follows the missus, played by Jessica Chastain. Or I guess you could watch Hers and then His, probably, if you felt the need to rebel against traditional gender roles in the mildest way possible.

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James McAvoy to Star in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

Last we heard, hot commodities Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton were set to star as a married couple in Ned Benson‘s very ambitious double feature, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, but despite that official announcement back in February, it appears that Edgerton is out and James McAvoy is now in. Another press release from Myriad Pictures announces that McAvoy will now play the male lead in Benson’s perspective-bending marital dramas, with Chastain still a go to play the female lead. Benson (In Defiance of Gravity) has written both scripts and will also direct both films. Eleanor Rigby is an extreme case of using two perspectives to tell one story, as Benson wasn’t satisfied with making just one movie split between narrators, he’s now crafted two entirely different films to be told by each character. The films will be officially titled The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her. The plot of the films centers on McAvoy and Chastain’s couple, a married pair in New York City, and how they deal “with an emotional, life-altering experience, from the two different perspectives of the husband, Conor, a restaurant owner, and of the wife, Eleanor, who goes back to college.” While there’s no indication of just what that life-altering experience is, the film is also billed specifically as a love story, so take from that what you will. Of course, the title could be totally goddamn literal and Chastain could be named after a Beatles song and she […]

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