The first trailer released for The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby includes some nifty Rashomon-style perspective shifting, while showing the film’s main characters – Eleanor Rigby (Jessica Chastain) and Connor Ludlow (James McAvoy) – meeting, falling in love, and struggling to hold onto what they once had. What could’ve felt like a gimmicky device here seems effective and restrained, as the same moments are filmed just differently enough so that the words spoken and looks exchanged no longer have the same emotional significance.
Why the semi-experimental storytelling approach? Well, it’s because Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, as it were, originated as three separate movies (by writer/director Ned Benson), with the subtitles Him, Her, and Them. Each of the films explores Eleanor Rigby and Connor’s love affair, albeit from a different point of view – with Them being the closest to an examination of the story from an omnipresent perspective.
It’s the “Them cut” that premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival earlier this year to positive reviews, and which shall open in U.S. theaters in the fall (the Her and Him versions will be screened at select theaters in the month thereafter). Them is the longest iteration of Eleanor and Connor’s tale; judging by the U.S. trailer, that version may not only combine subplots featured solely in either Her or Him (from when the protagonists are separated), but also footage that depicts the shared moments between Eleanor and Connor from alternate vantage points.
If may be that Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby will play out similar to either Annie Hall and/or 500 Days of Summer – had those movies examined their respective relationship stories through the eyes of both parties, instead of only the male lead. As mentioned before, Benson (making his feature debut) and his director of photography Christopher Blauvelt (The Bling Ring) appear to have made some clever visual choices, at the least resulting in a finely-crafted film.
Chastain and McAvoy, meanwhile, both look to have brought their A-game here, as far as their respective performances go. McAvoy tends to shine through even in less intimate, studio tentpole fare (see: X-Men: Days of Future Past) – and it’s really just a matter of time, not a question of if, Chastain will take home an Academy Award; there’s little to no reason to doubt that her turn in Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby will be up to scratch.
Rounding out the Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby cast are William Hurt (The Host), Viola Davis (Prisoners), Bill Hader (They Came Together), Ciarán Hinds (Game of Thrones), and Isabelle Huppert (Amour), among others.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby opens in U.S. theaters on September 26th, 2014.
Source: Yahoo! Movies