When my wife and I watched this, we turned to each other every five minutes with looks of bemusement and disbelief. Could any one character be such a blockhead? We kept hoping someone, preferably the pining neighbor, would slap Sam silly.boblipton wrote:The movie my cousin and I saw this morning was My Cousin Rachel, starring Rachel Weisz as Rachel... but not Rachel Weisz. Based on the Daphne DuMaurier novel, it concerns Sam Clafin, who was raised by his misogynistic cousin. The cousin falls ill and is shipped off to sunny Italy to recover. Imagine Sam's surprise when he writes about how he has fallen in love and married. Further letters take a darker, paranoid turn, and when he goes to Italy to investigate, his cousin is dead and his wife has disappeared. Sam returns to England to resume the life he has envisioned, when up pops Rachel Weisz, who quickly charms the dogs and then him. He gives her everything, then develops his own dark suspicions about the tisanes she gives him to drink.
It's a movie, my cousin and I agreed, after a while in the dark, that was admirable, if only it showed any sign of getting on with it. Set during the Regency, it offers beautiful clothes and country scenery, and a typically fine performance by Miss Weisz. After the first eight months of sitting in the theater, I commented on its slow, slow pace to my cousin. After a year or two it ended. Imagine my surprise when we got out and discovered that through some time-warp effect, it was only a couple of hours!
Afterwards we wondered how Hitchcock would have shot it, whether he would had let the climax occur offscreen, whether he wouldn't have played up the George Sanders role, whether he couldn't have injected any life into those inert, plot-heavy conversations and flashbacks. It was PBS, "cinema of quality" filmmaking, and as such will please fans of that kind of nonsense.