Trailer Spotlight: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

It’s been a while since I featured a trailer spotlight on my blog, but The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby has a pretty unusual concept that I just had to share.


Once happily married, Conor and Eleanor suddenly find themselves as strangers longing to understand each other in the wake of tragedy. The film explores the couple’s story as they try to reclaim the life and love they once knew and pick up the pieces of a past that may be too far gone.

I first heard about this project last year when I heard about James McAvoy casting. At the time I thought that it was more of a mystery thriller or something. Then I saw some photos of McAvoy and Jessica Chastain all over Twitter when it premiered at Cannes. Well apparently there are there versions of this film, told from two different perspectives and also a combined version. Say what?

Well, the concept is quite unusual in that first-time director Ned Benson told the story of a young NYC couple from each character’s point of view. Conor (McAvoy) and Eleanor (Chastain) each get a 95-minute movie told from his/her perspective. Naturally it’s tricky to market two films that’s essentially the same story (especially when the Weinsteins are involved), so Benson’s created a third version (Them) which features footage from both His/Her versions and has a conventional running time of 2 hours. So this new trailer is the unified version of Benson’s ambitious directorial debut, check it out:

I LOVE romantic dramas, not the typical rom-coms but something that isn’t afraid to delve deeper into the nitty gritty of a relationship and the ‘warts and all’ approach to a love story. Seems that they have cast two excellent actors in the lead, I believe both McAvoy and Chastain have the chops to pull off the complexity and depth their roles require. I haven’t seen Chastain in anything this year though I’ve enjoyed quite a lot of her work in the past two years. McAvoy is definitely one of the brightest actors of his generation. He’s also one of my favorite Scots, I kind of think of him as the more talented & versatile version of Gerry Butler who looks like his older brother. If only Butler would pick the kind of roles McAvoy’s signed up for.


The supporting cast is not too shabby at all: William HurtIsabelle HuppertViola Davis, and Bill Hader. So would we be able to see all three versions in the theater? Well, according to Deadline, “Benson said the plan will be to release the new two-hour cut around September 26. A month or six weeks later, the first two films, Him and Her, will play in limited release in art house theaters.”

Hmmm, I doubt my city would get all three versions, we’d be lucky if we even get this unified version. But hopefully all three would be released on iTunes or DVD/Bluray at some point.

What do you think of this film and/or unusual concept?

34 thoughts on “Trailer Spotlight: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

  1. Ted S.

    That’s an interesting concept, from the trailer, it reminds me 500 Days of Summer except much more darker and serious in tone. But the trailer’s beautifully cut together, I’ll give it a rent. Pretty sure they’ll include all versions on Bluray.

    1. Yeah I’d imagine they’d include it in the Blu-ray. It definitely looks more serious than 500 Days though having Bill Hader here makes me think it’d have some comedic elements.

  2. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    Gerard Butler is the actor James McAvoy wishes to be. While James McAvoy is the actor Mark Ruffalo wishes to be.

    Butler would be better to look at. Though McAvoy does vulnerable better than most.

    And it’s about time Jessica Chastain found a role with some meat on its bones. While William Hurt is always a “go-to” guy who delivers.

    Great looking cinematography, too!

    1. “Gerard Butler is the actor James McAvoy wishes to be??” Wait, what? Hmmm, as you know I used to like Butler, A LOT, but he’s been wasting his talents on so many sub-par films lately. Butler is studly and charismatic but he can’t seem to pick good roles even if his life’s dependent on it. McAvoy on the other hand, can juggle blockbuster and indie films effortlessly. That said, I do think Butler does have talents, I just wish he’d pick stuff that’d showcase it.

      I’m not a Ruffalo fan though, so I tend to agree that McAvoy is a far better actor than him.

      Glad you’re a fan of Chastain, she’s got screen presence and versatility, always a nice combo in an actor.

      1. I must agree with you Ruth and disagree with Kevin (that’s rare). McAvoy adds a sensitivity that Butler can only imagine. I’m angry at Butler for wasting what talents he did have for a pay check. This sounds project great!

        1. jackdeth72

          Hi, Ruth and Cindy:

          Points taken, ladies.

          Butler had the action/adventure genre sewn up until he diversified into ‘The Awful Truth’ and ‘The Bounty Hunter;. Revealing that he falls short in comedy. He was quite good in ‘Machine Gun Preacher’. Though the film did not click her in the states. More likely due to left coast politics and uncertainty with “religion”. No mater how admirably it is displayed and executed on film.

          He needs an action role. Badly. Heck, I’d like to see him bump Clive Owen for the role of Dwight in a Frank Miller ‘Sin City’ film.

          1. Can’t see Clive stepping aside from such a cool role. Why not just write in a part for Butler and we’ll see how it goes. I think it’s his voice and 3 expressions that sour me–but I loved him as the Phantom of the Opera and he couldn’t sing so well, either. So I guess I don’t know what to make of him. He needs a revamp bad.

          2. Ahah, Butler’s awful rom-com is actually called The Ugly Truth and it really is as ugly as the title. I think Butler is actually a funny guy in real life so I think he can do comedy, it’s just the materials he picks are just bad. He’s actually quite funny in Rocknrolla. I agree he’s good in Machine Gun Preacher, but the film was marketed poorly and the political/faith aspect certainly didn’t help as it’s tougher to market as it is. I think he’s perfect in the action films, but I wish he’d actually pick something with a little more substance. Olympus Has Fallen is more fun than expected but I can’t say it’s a good film.

            @Cindy – I actually think Butler did a decent job in POTO considering he had no formal singing training. Andrew Lloyd Webber actually wanted someone with a gruff, rock’n roll voice so he’s perfect for that. He does need some kind of career-recharge, the way McConaughey did with his career. I mean for a while I couldn’t stand him either as he did all those terrible rom-coms!

    1. I hope your city will show both versions Steven. I forgot where you live but usually only the bigger cities get the limited releases.

  3. Pingback: “Trailer Time Thursday!” 7.3.14 | The Focused Filmographer

  4. Definitely a very interesting concept. I’d rather see the first two versions and skip the third, honestly. Would be interesting to see how Benson handles telling the same story twice. But I’m with you – it’s not likely the Landmark theaters pick up all three. We’ll just have to wait and see, I suppose.

    1. Sounds like a good plan, I think that’s what the director intended anyway. I just hope it’ll be released on dvd soon or be available on streaming.

  5. I’m so glad Him and Her will also be released! I’ll definitely see all three versions, as I’ve been looking forward to these for ages. 🙂

    1. Yeah but only in limited theaters so I doubt they’d show it here in my city. I definitely will check it out either on dvd/streaming tho.

      1. Yes he’s adorable he’s not all Hollywoodish. Did you ever see his most recent movie Filth? I really want to see it but I am not sure when it will come out on DVD or streaming.

        1. Yeah I think he lives in the UK, away from the Hollywood frenzy. Hmmm, I don’t know if I can handle Filth to be honest. It looks too erm, well filthy for my taste, ahah.

  6. I’m a little hesitant of this film for two reasons. First, it reminded of Revolutionary Road in that it is a love story that starts rather promisingly to then collapse. Sure, it seems a bit more romantic and lighthearted, but my concern persists anyway because I wasn’t a fan of the movie. The second is the very quick shot of James McAvoy running. Now, that may sound odd at first, but I’ve seen so many romantic films where the man runs to catch up to the woman that’s slipping away, or leaving, or dying, and I just can’t, it just doesn’t happen in real life. It may seem like a small thing, but it may say a lot about what the film aspires to be.

    Aside from all that, the choice for cast is interesting. James McAvoy seems to have really turned the page with his acting career after his roles in the X-Men franchise. I think he’s suddenly become an A-lister for some of the best directors out there. On the other hand, Chastain is always good and I’d be interested in seeing her in a more romantic role than I’ve seen her in before.

    Nice post Ruth!

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