When director Ned Benson’s feature directorial debut The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby screened at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, it marked a fascinating moviegoing experience in that two different cuts of the film were screened back to back. The film stars Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy and tells the story of a married couple whose relationship disintegrates, and Benson had cut together two entirely separate films. Him tells the story completely from McAvoy’s point of view, and Her tells the story from Chastain’s perspective.
I was very much looking forward to seeing both films when the pic got a theatrical release, but when The Weinstein Company dated the pic for release on September 26th, it was for a traditional two-hour cut. Thankfully, word now comes that TWC plans on releasing not only the traditional cut but also two other different cuts when Eleanor Rigby hits theaters. Hit the jump for more.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is set to screen at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival in a couple of weeks, and there Benson will be unveiling a version of the film that he calls Them. As you might expect, it’s a more traditional, two-hour cut of the movie that interweaves both perspectives. However, Deadline notes that The Weinstein Company will release all three versions (ie. Him, Her, and Them) “in some form” this fall. Them will be the version that opens on September 26th, while Him and Her will play in limited release “in art house theaters” a month to six weeks later.
Benson had this to say about the new version of the film:
“Insane is probably the best way to describe all this. The idea of creating a third way to see this story, to have a two-hour relationship film or give the viewer the choice of seeing it in the three hour, two-part perspective is one of the most educational film experiences I’ve had in my life. And the outcome is mind-blowing, like hitting the lottery.”
The filmmaker maintains that he wasn’t forced by Weinstein to create a more audience-friendly cut of the film, but instead was spurred by curiosity after TIFF to see if an omnipotent version of Eleanor Rigby could function as its own film. That cut, which was created earlier this year, is the one that will premiere at Cannes.