Directed by: Ben Wheatley
Written by: Jane Goldman & Joe Shrapnel
Starring: Lily James, Armie Hammer, Ann Dowd, Kristin Scott Thomas, Bruno Paviot, Tom Hudson, Jeff Rawle.
A remake of the original 1938 novel, by Daphne du Maurier; “Rebecca” which is well known both on stage and on screen, which fast became the most popular adaptation by Alfred Hitchcock, celebrated in 1940 by winning Best Picture Academy Award.
Ben Wheatley decided to remake this romantic thriller by starting production on this film in June 2019, where the majority of this film was directed in Cornwall (as I was, and am, lucky enough to live not so far away from the location of where this was filmed, and even though I was unlucky in not seeing any live takes of scenes, I did see the location set up, and have been looking forward to the post-production of this since mid-2019!).
This Netflix Original stars the beautiful and talented Lily James as one of the main cast members, who plays her character very well.
This film starts in Monte Carlo, where a young woman (Lily James) is working for a Mrs Van Hopper (Ann Dowd). They settle within a luxury hotel named Hotel Regina, with the clear observations of the divide between class and snobbery, as the young girl is often referred to as “staff” and is belittled a lot by Mrs Van Hopper by being denied dining access.
As the story plays on the story soon shows how the young woman crosses paths with a tall, polite gentleman named Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer) and they quickly connect and spend time together. After he proposes to her, the pair marry rather quickly, and after a short honeymoon, they settle into the Manderley estate on the English coast. The new Mrs de Winter quickly becomes a shadow of the woman before her, the late wife of Maxim, and struggles to be accepted by a few people within the estate.
She also quickly learns that all is not what it seems with her husband in terms of secrets. Alongside this, she finds she is fighting what seems to be a losing battle against the dark and devious Mrs Danvers (Kristen Scott Thomas) who has been the head housekeeper of the Manderley estate for years, with a disturbing obsession to Manderley and the late Rebecca.
As I mentioned briefly before I have been looking forward to this film since the very beginning of production, and it has been a long 16 months. After watching this, I enjoyed the intense moments, the romance and the secrets which made for unexpected moments and great production to a story, that has been adapted many times. Lily James is enjoyable to watch, and her acting skills are underrated. In regards to the other lead cast members, they too brought suspense and unsettling feelings towards scenes which kept me gripped from start to finish. However, as the ending was approaching on this story, I felt Ben Wheatley seemed to have rushed the conclusion, it did all come together and concluded nicely, I felt this didn’t need to be rushed at the pace it did, this film is 2 hours 3 minutes long, which is enjoyable throughout, but regardless of this little criticism I have with the rushing of the ending, it was well worth the 16 months wait!
The film is available to stream now on Netflix, I recommend this to anyone who likes suspense and romance mystery, or even if you know of the previous adaptations and want to see how this one differs, then watch this one, and let me know what you think.
I give this 5 stars!