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The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them (2014)

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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.


Ned Benson


Ned Benson
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
James McAvoy ... Conor Ludlow
Jessica Chastain ... Eleanor Rigby
Nina Arianda ... Alexis
Viola Davis ... Professor Friedman
Bill Hader ... Stuart
Ciarán Hinds ... Spencer Ludlow
Isabelle Huppert ... Mary Rigby
William Hurt ... Julian Rigby
Jess Weixler ... Katy Rigby
Nikki M. James ... Sia
Jeremy Shamos ... Evangelist
Wyatt Ralff ... Philip
Brendan Donaldson Brendan Donaldson ... Casimir Waiter
Daron Stewart ... Guy Walking on Bridge (as Daron P. Stewart)
June Miller June Miller ... Elderly Woman


Following the death of their only offspring, an infant son named Cody, married New Yorkers Conor Ludlow and Eleanor Rigby - a struggling restaurateur and an academic working on her Ph.D. in Anthropology before Cody arrived in their lives - hit a rough spot in their relationship. Although still loving Conor, El is uncertain if she can bear what Conor represents to her and bear the grief even if Conor is no longer in her life. Following an incident, El decides to disappear from Conor's life, she taking refuge at the suburban home of her parents Julian and Mary Rigby, an academic himself and a musician respectively. Just to keep her mind active and off the thought of Conor or Cody, Julian suggests to El that she return to college and he pulls some strings for El possibly to enter into his colleague Professor Lilian Friedman's class. Despite being a therapist himself, he also tries to get El to see a therapist to deal with her grief. Meanwhile, Conor is facing his own emotional and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | French

Release Date:

12 September 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Story of Love See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$66,941, 12 September 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$585,640, 31 October 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The movie's name is based on "Eleanor Rigby", a song by the English band The Beatles. See more »


Conor Ludlow: I can't just chalk this up to destiny.
See more »


Edited from The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her (2013) See more »


After it All
Written by Nathan Johnson, and Katie Chastain
Performed by Son Lux featuring 'Faux Fix'
See more »

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User Reviews

'All I want is a chance to just talk it out. After that you can disappear to wherever it is you disappear to.'
26 May 2015 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Ned Benson both wrote and directed this little quiet film – an amalgamation of two separate films 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Her' and 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Him'. Each premiered in 2013 as two films at the Toronto Film Festival. After the premiere, although it received rave reviews, Ned Benson started cutting the movie again, as a one feature. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them (2014) premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. All three movies received a theatrical release.

The story is elusive, dealing with internal issues as to why a happy marriage dissolves. Perhaps (and this is not said outright) the marriage crumbled with the death of their little boy (no details of when or how are given, just obtuse references), but what ever the reason, the summary sates a woman and man seemingly so in love finds their marriage is shaken to the core when life throws them a devastating curve. Now this New York couple must try to understand each other as they cope with loss and attempt to reclaim the life and love they once had.

The cast is loaded with stars – Eleanor Rigby is beautifully off center as played by Jessica Chastain and she is matched by her husband Conor played by James McAvoy. But the supporting cast (all in very small roles) offers Eleanor's parents portrayed by Isabelle Huppert (who has some of the best lines - 'I didn't know I could retrieve all the opportunities I threw away then.' - and William Hurt, Conor's father by Ciarán Hinds, Viola Davis as a snarky professor, Ryan Eggold as a would-be paramour for Eleanor, Jess Weixler as Eleanor's sister, and Nina Arianda as Conor's paramour, and more.

The story is fragile and perhaps too much so, as the line of relating the tale runs into alleyways of nothing too frequently. It is as though a very fine editor could have tightened this up and made it stronger. Certainly as far as a cast is concerned it is top drawer: it just drags around far too slowly to stay very interested. The DVD comes with a second disc for the 'Her' and 'Him' version, but after over two hours of 'Them', viewing that may merit watching on another evening. Very mixed feelings.

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