Jessica Chastain as: Eleanor Rigby
Directed by: Ned Benson
Screenplay by: Ned Benson
Selected Cast: James McAvoy, Viola Davis, Jess Weixler, William Hurt, Bill Hader, Isabelle Huppert
Running Time: 96min (Him), 105min (Her), 123min (Them)
Release Date: September 9, 2013 (TIFF)
Wide Release: September 12, 2014 (US)
Genre: Romance, Drama
One 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.
All three films follow the same time period, but are told from the differing perspectives of Conor Ludlow (James McAvoy) and Eleanor Rigby (Jessica Chastain), a young married couple living in New York. Him looks at their relationship from Conor’s angle, while Her follows Eleanor’s. Them has the two separate films edited into a linear story; this is the version used for DVD and Blu-ray releases and broadcasting.
Eleanor Rigby is the first feature film from director Ned Benson. He and Jessica met in 2003 after a screening of his short film Four Lean Hounds at the Malibu Film Festival when she asked to work with him on future projects. Chastain would go on to appear in his 2010 short film The Westerner. Benson also asked Chastain if she would be willing to appear in his film The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. After Chastain began asking questions about Rigby’s background, Benson was prompted to write another script devoted entirely to her perspective.
Jessica joined the project in 2012 as producer and star. The actor Joel Edgerton signed to star, but was later replaced by James McAvoy, which had been contacted to do the film years ago but declined.
Filming began in summer of 2012 in New York, with filming lasting about 40 days and wrapping around late August of the same year.
The film was released on TIFF festival as two different features (Him and Her), and later The Weinstein Company released and edited version, to eye the awards season.
Jessica received two awards for this film, the Ischia Actress Award and the Critics’ Choice MVP Award.