Rebecca (2020)
November 16, 2020 6:02 PM - Subscribe

After a whirlwind romance with a wealthy widower, a naïve bride moves to his family estate but can't escape the haunting shadow of his late wife.

With a new screenplay by Jane Goldman, previously of X-Men, Kick-Ass, and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
posted by rhizome (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 


This was drivel. In the book - and in the Hitchcock and BBC (Joanna David/Jeremy Brett) versions - the girl is shy and gauche and there is absolutely nothing sexual between her and Maxim when they're in the South of France, which is why it is so astonishing to her that he asked her to marry him. Lily James is far too glamorous and worldly, and Armie Hammer has all the magnetism and charisma of a Macy's mannequin. Dreadful.
posted by essexjan at 2:51 PM on November 17, 2020 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I watched about 3 minutes, turned it off in disgust, and went back to Larry and Joan in Hitchcock's masterpiece.

Ben Wheatley: confidence exceeds competence.
posted by basalganglia at 6:01 AM on November 18, 2020


I think the problem with this remake - as the problem with many remakes of novels from a certain era - is that the story really hinges on the cultural mores of the time, which people who do remakes are no longer confident of being able to bring to a modern audience.

So they can't really convey the horror of what-if-you-chose-wrong and your entire life is ruined, because modern viewers are accustomed to divorce being easy. And they can't really convey ennui, because our lives are all so shitty right now that being sad and depressed and wealthy still looks really, really good. And they can't really empathize with someone who doesn't seem to have a lot of agency, so they make Rebecca as the driver of the plot. And the problem is, that makes it a frankenstory that just doesn't really make much sense. It was a beautiful and frothy nothing, but it was still a nothing.
posted by corb at 8:11 AM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


I was so massively disappointed by this. Ben Wheatley has made some really interesting movies, and I was excited by the possibility of him really leaning into the fundamental horror at the centre of Rebecca.

Rebecca is not a fucking romance. Our nameless protagonist gets trapped by her own naivety in an airless, sexless marriage where she is completely powerless and isolated. Maxim only consummates the marriage once she’s proven to be completely submissive by not turning on him when he admits to murdering her predecessor. This isn’t even subtext.

Not romantic, horrifying! It was horrifying at the time it was written, and even more so now. So much to work with!

But no. Bland romance it is. At least the costumes and production design were pretty.
posted by arha at 2:08 AM on November 25, 2020 [4 favorites]


> the story really hinges on the cultural mores of the time, which people who do remakes are no longer confident of being able to bring to a modern audience. ... they can't really convey the horror of what-if-you-chose-wrong and your entire life is ruined, because modern viewers are accustomed to divorce being easy

Oh I don't know, corb, so many other modern-day creators of period pieces seem to manage just fine! Like, I'm not even talking about genuinely well-crafted, deeply researched, and faithfully rendered period dramas... even a mock-period show like Downton Abbey, despite the incredibly anachronistic setups, characterization, and dialogue, manages to sell us on the horror and potential scandal from premarital sex for a young lady.

But there was something *off* about this movie. It's as if none of the creators - not the actors, nor the writers, certainly not the director - could bring themselves to imagine people living in any era but the 2000s.

So much so that when Mrs. Danvers speaks the phrase "My lady" at the trial, I found myself a bit jolted by how old fashioned she suddenly sounded. There was a fraction of a second when my brain went, lol what did she just say? this lady sure is bonkers, she seems to think she's living in some kind of old timey era. A second later the irony of this thought descended on me and I had to come looking for the MeFi discussion of this movie to see if anyone else had the same weird reaction.
posted by MiraK at 11:30 AM on June 16 [1 favorite]


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