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 (5 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 [2 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 [2 favorites]

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