OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby

SORRY! Release of this film has been postponed to 2015.

Note:

The ByTowne's original engagement of this film, scheduled for September 26 to October 5, has been cancelled.
The distributor has decided to delay release of the film until 2015.

In its place, we will present Hector And The Search For Happiness. Click here for review, trailer and show times.

We apologize for the inconvenience.


Débuting at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby tells the story of a couple in crisis from the different perspectives of the film’s main characters, Conor (James McAvoy) and the eponymous Eleanor (Jessica Chastain).

Poster art for The Disappearance Of Eleanor RigbyAfter quickly demonstrating the couple’s initial adoration for each other, the picture moves to the present where Eleanor makes a dramatic decision that puts her in the hospital and, quite soon, out of Conor’s life. No explanation is given to Conor of Eleanor’s reasoning or even where she’s gone (one of the film’s rare unbelievable moments is how long it takes him to figure out she’s moved back in with her parents). Eventually we learn she’s made this choice after months of tension following a personal tragedy, but Conor is dumbstruck over the immediate events and Eleanor’s unwillingness to talk to him.

Conor’s life is a mountain of stress as he’s also dealing with the failure of a restaurant he started with his best friend (Bill Hader). Meanwhile, Eleanor’s parents (Isabelle Huppert and William Hurt) are unsure how to cope with her trauma. Her father suggests she take a class with a former colleague, Lillian (Viola Davis), to help clear her mind. They quickly develop a friendship that transforms how Eleanor sees her current predicament.

While the strained relationship between Eleanor and Conor is clearly the centre of the movie, it’s Eleanor’s scenes with Lillian that feature some of the film’s best moments. There is a certain sparkle watching the former Help co-stars and Oscar nominees perform onscreen together, andt Davis’ excellent portrayal of Lillian is key in giving Eleanor perspective as she decides how to keep on living.

Chastain, who is also a producer on the project, is simply exquisite. There are only a handful of actresses who could have pulled this character off and Chastain clearly demonstrates she’s one of them. Even though some might find Eleanor’s character selfish in her actions, Chastain finds a balance that wears her depression well. She never plays Eleanor as incapable or overburdened. Instead, Eleanor is just trying to look in the mirror (a recurring theme) and discover who she really is at this point in her life. There is an incredible scene toward the end of the film where she breaks down in front of Conor that many will label an ‘Oscar reel' moment. Such recognition would be genuinely deserved.

– Gregory Ellwood, HitFix

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