REBECCA Review — Lush, Lovely and Intriguing
Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Rebecca review says this new take on an Oscar winning classic does not disappoint.
It’s a daunting task to attempt a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Best Picture winning 1940 classic starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. I’m giving writer/director Ben Wheatley major credit for even going near the project, and crafting his own adaptation of the Daphne Du Maurier novel.
I also give Wheatley major credit for actually pulling it off. With stunning set design and locations, plus a correspondingly beautiful cast, the 2020 Rebecca is a lovely, languorous and lush take on a British aristocracy mystery. Downton Abbey with an edge.
Speaking of Downton Abbey Lily James, whom you’ve seen in more British period projects than can me enumerated here, is beguiling as an orphaned “Lady’s Companion,” enjoying time in the south of France with her crotchety patron, played with verve by Ann Dowd. James’ character (who doesn’t have a name until she is legally and lawfully wedded), stumble upon the very rich and elegant Maxim de Winter (the perfectly cast Armie Hammer), whose estate, known as “Manderly,” is legendary.
The the Lady’s Companion and the Lord of the Manor have a whirlwind romance, filmed so beautifully it makes you want to drop everything and get on a plane to France, pandemic be damned. Before you know it, he’s whisking the new Mrs. de Winter back to his posh estate.
The only problem is, the former Mrs. deWinter, Rebecca, is gone but not forgotten by all who knew her. Her presence looms large there, and the new Mrs. de Winter is frequently stumbling over it and crashing into it. Is it Rebecca’s ghost who is haunting the mansion, or just her memory? Either way, there is deadly foul play afoot, and much enjoyment and intrigue to be had watching it unfold.
Does Wheatley’s Rebecca rival Hitchcock’s? It’s probably best if you don’t compare the two. But is it a solid version of Rebecca for this generation? Absolutely!
If this Rebecca review intrigues you, see it it now on Netflix.
2 Hours 1 Minute