My Cousin Rachel
by Tony Medley
Runtime 91 minutes.
OK for children.
Reprising a movie
starring superstars Richard Burton and Olivia de Havilland is no easy task, even though the movie was made more
than 60 years ago. But this outing, directed and adapted from Daphne Du Maurier’s best-selling novel for the screen by Roger Mitchell, can stand
on its own with Sam Claflin and Rachel Weisz replacing Burton and de
The story of a young
heir, Philip Ashley (Claflin) and his relationship with his deceased
guardian’s widow, Rachel (Weisz) is captivatingly told. Philip has been
brought up without his mother and in a very sheltered environment and
although highly suspicious of Rachel, she is not even close to what he
perceived her to be. To call Rachel enigmatic and inscrutable doesn’t do
her justice. Both main players give fine performances, the best of which
is by Claflin who captures Phillips immaturity and naïveté perfectly.
Philip has returned to
the great estate to claim his inheritance from his guardian. Was Rachel
complicit in the guardian’s death? Is she still out to get the
Set in the eighteen
thirties this well-paced film is enhanced by fine cinematography (Mike
Ely) and exceptional production design and costume design (Alice
Normington and Dinah Collin, respectively).