Review Round Up: Rebecca

Ben Wheatley directs this new version based on the Daphne du Maurier story, starring Armie Hammer and Lily James.  

The Guardian: ** “Rebecca 2.0 is sometimes quite enjoyable in all its silliness and campiness and brassiness, and in some ways, gets closer to the narrative shape of the original novel than the Hitchcock film, which rather truncated the third act.”

Empire: *** “Kristin Scott Thomas’ delicious performance as the vicious housekeeper is the one element of the modern Rebecca that truly surpasses Hitchcock’s take.”

Variety: “There was an opportunity here for the macabre-minded Wheatley to steer “Rebecca” into darker territory, but he and longtime DP Laurie Rose have instead embraced an elegant, golden-hued idea of the 1930s that feels as far from Hitchcock’s sinister realm of impressionistic shadows as Anthony Minghella’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” is from Wheatley’s own “Kill List.””

Hollywood Reporter: “But while this retelling sticks closer to du Maurier’s original text than the Hitchcock film, it’s no more successful at supplanting the memory of that version than the pair of polished British TV miniseries that ran on PBS in 1979 and 1997.”

Indie Wire: “Lustrous as it can be to look at, Wheatley’s vision of Manderley falls short of the extreme renovation fans might have hoped for when the man behind some of the most feral movies in recent memory was hired to put a fresh spin on a novel that no one can forget.”

NME: *** “As a result, the film ends up disappointing both camps – those hoping for a faithful update of a classic; and Wheatley stans looking for some top tier weirdness. There’s nothing awful about what Netflix has come up with here, but not much stands out either. All in all, it’s frustratingly fine – and when there are so many other, better versions of this story available, that’s not quite good enough.”

The Telegraph: *** “Armie Hammer and Kristin Scott Thomas help James to bear up Netflix’s sleek, if overly dutiful, Du Maurier adaptation.” ** “The film sleepwalks through other scenes meant to be tense, though. The heroine discovers an unused boathouse filled with Rebecca’s things, but isn’t nearly suspicious enough. She throws Manderley’s customary costume ball and makes a terrible faux pas. Keeley Hawes enlivens the few scenes she has as Maxim’s sister, a down-to-earth breath of kindness and fresh air.”

Rebecca is released on Netflix on the 21st October.

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