Rebecca (2020) | It Takes a Turn

When the first trailer was released, I had no idea there was a 1940 black & white movie by Alfred Hitchcock no less. What drew my attention to this project was the cast Armie Hammer (Call Me by Your Name, The Social Network), Lily James (Cinderella) & Kristin Scott Thomas (Fleabag, Suite Française) but mostly Jane Goldman (Kingsman, Stardust) who adaptated a lot of movies I like.
This Rebecca is directed by Ben Wheatley (High-Rise) and rounding the cast we have Sam Riley (Radioactive, Maleficent), Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale), Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard), Mark Lewis Jones (Gangs of London, The Third Day), Tom Goodman-Hill (Everest, The Imitation Game), and Ben Compton (GoT, Before I Go to Sleep).
Both the Hitchcock and Wheatley movies are based on Daphne Du Maurier‘ novel “Rebecca”

Premise: A young newlywed arrives at her husband’s imposing family estate on a windswept English coast and finds herself battling the shadow of his first wife, Rebecca, whose legacy lives on in the house long after her death.

Rebecca: Kristin Scott Thomas as Mrs. Danvers

Review: It might be a combination of the vibe from the trailer and the mention of the Hitchcock version – which I’ve never seen – that made me think that Rebecca would have been scarier. It is a Dark-ish thriller but much lighter than what the premise and trailer suggested.

The story begins well enough, everything is honky dory before it takes a turn. That shift slowly comes, the movie takes a darker tone but it’s also where it starts to go awry. It’s not a complete shit-show but there’s shift in the story, and in some characters, that kind of come out of nowhere. More could have been done to smooth those transitions, and not have it feel like they sort of botched the end of the second act, and third act. However, the intention is clear, which is why this movie is entertain enough, but knowing what they were going for and see it poorly executed does not help.
By the way, I am not comparing this movie with the book I never read or the Hitchcock version I never watched, but I have to admit Wheatley’s version makes me curious to see the 1940 film.

As for the cast, I don’t have much to say, if you’re not nitpicky about Hammer’s accent, they did a decent job. Was it their best work? No but when the locations, costumes, and striking visuals makes more of an impression on you than the cast you’re in trouble. The movie looks gorgeous at times, particularly when they’re outside, to then look like an episode of a budget period drama, it’s a bit jarring.

Rebecca is a little uneven but still worth your time, it’s on the cusp of being great but doesn’t quite get there.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, he’d be a huge help if you get it from the link below:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button | Review

Losely based on F. Scoot Fitzgerald short story of the same name The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was directed by David Fincher (Gone Girl) and stars Brad pitt, Taraji P. Henson, Cate Blanchett, & Tilda Swinton.

Premise: Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a weird little – it’s a 2 hours and half – film. The subject is intriguing enough to get you to watch it but you stay because it’s simply captivating. I was so invested in the story that I cried several times while watching it. The film is touching and heartwarming, and also subtle. It seamlessly breezes through times and really brings to life what the tagline is about “Life isn’t measured in minutes but in moments.”

The film does go through Benjamin Button’s life and really shows every step, moments, that defined who he is. The movie is very much grounded in reality which makes the fantasy elements of the story real. You quickly believe that a boy born old but with the mind of baby is possible. So the magic is there, grounded in the reality of Benjamin’s life. I don’t know who to accredit this to but it’s very clear, palpable, that when Benjamin is growing up, looking like a man in his nineties his youthful energy shines through.

Brad Pitt, being the title character is just stunning in this film. He helps make the weird aspects of the film OK. The same goes for Taraji P. Henson, she makes the old wrinkled baby the most normal thing, she brought the dramatic gut wrenching emotions of a mother’s love in all her scenes. They all have their moments Julia Ormond, Tilda Swinton and Cate Blanchett all bring another layer, another moment in Benjamin’s life. Blanchett evokes the undeniable question of love, and a lasting one as that. Benjamin’s condition raises a valid question about age and love, which is interestingly dealt with in the film.

More than a riveting story with great acting, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a technical prowess. The make up, the cinematography, and the special effects are mind-blowing Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett look older and then younger and it’s done beautifully. The darkness and lighting in David Fincher’s style of film making really compliments the story but more so the technicality of the film. He was the perfect director for and did an amazing job throughout.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a wonderful film about time, life, and love. It’s another David Fincher masterpiece that is timeless.

What’s your take on it?