In ‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,’ Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy deliver performances that are heart-wrenching as they portray an estranged couple trying to cope with an unthinkable tragedy.
Jessica Chastain, 37, and James McAvoy, 35, star in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, an independent drama that reminds you there are always two sides to every relationship. HollywoodLife.com recently screened the film, which premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, and now we will highlight all of the wonderful aspects from it’s heartbreaking story, to Jessica and James’ incredible chemistry, and the beautiful portrait the film paints of modern-day New York City.
‘The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby’ Will Break Your Heart & Put It Back Together Again
Let me start this off by saying that if you don’t know who Jessica Chastain is, please check her IMDb and do a quick movie-marathon. I promise you, you will not regret it!
The red-headed actress is one of this generations greatest talents, and she has already been nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting role as Celia Foote in 2011’s The Help.
That being said, it’s roles like the one of Eleanor Rigby that solidify Jessica’s reputation as one of the most promising and fascinating actresses in the world.
Joined by the always-charming James McAvoy, Jessica portrays a woman whose world has been turned completely upside down by the loss of her son. Although the film starts out by showing us a couple who appear to be drowning happily in young love, things quickly take a turn for the worst when we fast forward to life after their son has died.
Eleanor decides to call it quits, and by “it” I mean everything — her marriage, her life as she knows it, everything is over. After living in New York City with her husband, James’ Conor Ludlow, for years, she takes nothing but a small bag and moves back into her parents house in Westford, Connecticut.
Eleanor & Conor Can’t Seem To Escape Each Other
While desperately seeking the chance to start an entirely new life and forget about the love of her life, Conor, and their son, she enrolls back into school. Meanwhile Conor is left in the dust, completely unaware to where his wife could have gone. He knows their relationship is over, but he doesn’t understand how she could, and I quote, “disappear into thin air.”
As Eleanor takes the steps to start anew, Conor can’t let go — and he doesn’t. Even when he somehow manages to track Eleanor down, his attempts are futile. His love, their past, is too much for her, even though it’s clear that she stills loves him more than she could ever say.
This is where Jessica’s strength as an actress truly shines, because Eleanor’s attitude towards Conor constantly flip-flops throughout the film and yet, not once do you roll your eyes at her indifference. When the idea of being around Conor is too much for her to bear, you understand why. And when she finds herself hopelessly heading towards her and Conor’s old apartment in the middle of the night, knowing full well he’s inside, you also understand why.
It is also worth mentioning that the film was written and directed by Ned Benson, who marks his feature debut with Eleanor Rigby. Not only did he manage to create a love story unlike any other, but he also shot two different versions of the film — one from each of the character’s perspectives. The two stories combine in what he calls the “Them” version, which is what will play in theaters everywhere.
Jessica & James’ Chemistry Is Set Against A Beautiful NYC Backdrop
The entire film was shot along the backdrop of a modern-day New York City, but without all of the fluff of our well-known tourist attractions and tall buildings. Instead, Eleanor and Conor live among the true citizens of Manhattan and continuously circle in-and-out of SoHo, Cooper Square, and other neighborhoods below the bright lights of 34th Street.
Not to mention, the chemistry between James and Jessica is through the roof. It’s hard to believe that the actors themselves have not been married for years as they go through the emotional trials and tribulations of losing the one person they loved more than they once loved each other.
But it’s Jessica who really steals the film, because it’s Eleanor’s emotional turnaround that eventually leads these two to their ending — although whether or not it’s a happy one will have to be left for when you go see the film yourself.
Be sure to watch the full-length trailer for The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby above, and make sure to check it out in theaters starting Sept. 12, 2014!
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — Are you planning on seeing The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby? If you’ve already seen it, what did you think of the film? Let us know your thoughts below!
— Lauren Cox