Rebecca film forged: Armie Hammer, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas
Rebecca film director: Ben Wheatley
Rebecca film score: One star
I’ve simply completed watching Rebecca, the one by which Armie Hammer and Lily James play Mr and Mrs De Winter, and go to Manderley, identical to they did in Daphne du Maurier’s 1935 novel, and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 movie, of the identical title. How I want they hadn’t. This newest model on no account compares to both, making a mockery of probably the greatest gothic horror novels ever written. Not as a result of it’s ghastly; that will have been one thing, however as a result of it leaves you utterly chilly, and unmoved.
With such wealthy, evocative supply materials, you’d think about that it could be the best factor to translate it on display screen, and there’s no hurt in dusting off classics to current them to the brand new era of movie-goers. As you hear the Lily James character saying ‘Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again,’ you are ready for the acquainted goose-bumps with which you responded to the haunting opening line. However not as soon as within the movie, I’m sorry to say, do you even really feel a frisson run down your shoulder-blades.
Whenever you first encounter James, she is in a luxurious resort in Monaco, dutiful companion to a horrid, overbearing dowager. Someway the unassuming younger lady manages to catch the attention of the dishy Maxim de Winter (Hammer), who lounges about on the sunny terrace, kitted out in a mustard go well with. The two are swept up in a languorous romance, and earlier than we all know it, she goes dwelling with him, to one of many stateliest mansions in Cornwall. The place she encounters the formidable Mrs Danvers (Thomas), lording over a phalanx of liveried employees, and over the whole lot else that goes on, at Manderley.
Quickly, the brand new Mrs de Winter (we by no means know her title, simply as we didn’t within the novel), learns that in each shadowy nook of Manderley, there are reminiscences of Rebecca, the primary Mrs de Winter. Some tangible (porcelain collectible figurines that Rebecca cherished, scattered about her desk); some within the parts that go to within the new bride’s nightmares (a mysterious shadow that lurks within the corridors); and within the darkness that furrows her husband’s forehead, as he resolutely refuses to speak about his first spouse, and the way she died.
The solely factor that stands out is the environment that the movie manages to create often. Even on this, the movie is extra partaking in its first jiffy in sunny South of France, quite than within the imposing bleakness of Manderley, which is the place the whole lot of import occurs. James is enough, however by no means capable of channel the bone-chilling terror that suffused the novel, and even the B&W starkness of Hitchcock’s movie, starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. The clean-cut, good-looking Hammer is all flawed for Maxim de Winter: when he tells the shy companion, ‘I want to marry you, you little fool,’ it sounds flawed. The just one who internalises the vibe of the interval and is suitably menacing is Thomas, wearing black, her mouth a slash of scarlet, however even she can’t rescue the movie.