But wait, wait, wait… don’t rush out to see this film on opening weekend. Why? The film was originally conceived as a dual-point-of-view narrative told in two separate films. But as is often the case, the studio, in this case The Weinstein Company, got nervous about initially releasing a film with two different cuts that play very differently and will no doubt incite audience confusion. So instead they’ve had had director Ned Benson fashion a third film, entitled The Disappearance of Eleanor Ribgy: Them, that will balance the two points-of-view in one film. That film will release on September 12th, with The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Hers releasing as two separate films 4-6 weeks later, for a total of three films. Yes, Weinstein Company, let’s make it even more confusing for the audiences.
It may be easier for the marketing team to focus its promotional material on the compiled version, but that version will have to eliminate half the material from each of the originally-conceived versions. And with an indie movie like this, if it does take off with mainstream audiences, it will through word-of-mouth and after-the-fact, when all three films have been released. If you’re truly interested in the material, seeing Them first will simply spoil much of both His and Hers, while not providing the experience of either… kind of like a Cliff’s Notes version of a novel.
Jessica Chastain is likely the finest actress of her generation, and early festival reviews have claimed this is far and away her best performance to-date. James McAvoy is certainly no slouch, either, and there’s already been talk of Oscar nominations for both of them. The films feature supporting performances by Viola Davis, William Hurt, Isabelle Huppert, Ciaran Hinds, Bill Hader, Jess Weixler, and The Blacklist‘s Ryan Eggold. The story is about the two sides of a romantic relationship and the way each character views the events and their motivations behind it, particularly the rough terrain that relationships can encounter. So do yourself a favor and wait a month or two after the initial release and see both of the His and Hers versions instead of the truncated Them.