Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film, although the last time it was seen on the big screen was in the 1952 movie starring Olivia De Havilland and Richard Burton. So a new film version isn't a terrible idea, bringing some modern sensibilities to the 19th century tale of obsession and intrigue. It's just a shame that this version, while gorgeous to look at, never quite manages to generate the momentum needed to involve the audience.
It's set in the early 1800s, when Philip (Sam Claflin) has inherited a Cornish farm from his cousin, who died in Italy where he lived with his wife Rachel (Rachel Weisz). Philip is nervous about meeting Rachel, but he's instantly smitten with her dark charm. His godfather Kendall (Iain Glen) warns him to be careful, and Kendall's daughter Louise (Holliday Grainger) is even more horrified by this development, because she has always had a crush on Philip. But as Philip becomes increasingly focussed on Rachel, he offers to give her the farm to prove his love. The question of course is whether she is really in love with him.
Continue reading: My Cousin Rachel Review
For almost five years now, Hollywood studios have beentrying to duplicate the success of "Gladiator"by making the same big-budget historical battle epic over ("TheLast Samurai") and over ("Troy")and over ("KingArthur") and over ("Alexander").
Each movie has re-imagined history from a modern, let's-keep-an-open-mindperspective and hewed to a shopworn formula in which the hero rallies hismen against great odds and for a greater good. He invariably leads theminto the same blood-and-mud war scenes, which are always shot in the samestaccato slow-motion that characterizes the chaos of combat but forgetsthe audience needs to be kept abreast of who is winning. The hero alsoalways finds time to romance a beautiful woman from another culture.
Aside from having different casts, the only significantvariations between these films seem to be 1) whether the hero was of noblebirth or came up from nothing to become a great leader, and 2) whetherthe battlefields are green and forested or brown and sandy. One thing mostof them definitely have in common is that they've bombed at the box office.
Continue reading: Kingdom Of Heaven Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.