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It’s not an obvious meeting of material and film-maker, but Ben Wheatley’s Netflix-produced adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca is a perfectly watchable romp that bounces along like a cheerful labrador. It is not, however, immediately obvious where the twisted, at times bracingly weird Wheatley sensibility fits into this rosy-cheeked version of Du Maurier’s tale of sanity under siege (scripted by Jane Goldman, Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse). We catch a glimpse of it when the new Mrs de Winter (Lily James) stumbles into a below-stairs bacchanal, while upstairs, her own party is an extravagant disaster.
Personally, I would have preferred a little more Wheatley edge, a little less Country Living. That said, there’s much to enjoy here. Armie Hammer is perhaps too sunny as Maxim de Winter, but Kristin Scott Thomas is cut-glass perfection as Mrs Danvers, with her bloody gash of crimson lipstick and the silky cruelty in her voice. And the production design is glorious – particularly Rebecca’s sumptuous eau de nil boudoir, its aqueous colour palette hinting at the fate of the first Mrs de Winter even as sense memory of her presence lingers in every room.
In cinemas/on Netflix from 21 Oct
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Rebecca review – perfectly watchable romp | Drama films