Rebecca

Rebecca ★★

All versions of Rebecca are about multiple forms of possessiveness with the big gothic mansion as its ideal image. The same is true here, although Weathley is far more interesting in money than sex. Everything that is perverse in this version can be traced back by how much it offers its own running commentary, the real tale is that of the self-appointed bad boy auteur getting swallowed by the upward mobility of his thrist with the Hollywood apparatus. Is any of it successful? Not much, despite an impressive main set, as erasing the gothic from Rebecca's romance is very inefective. By taking both the atmosphere and psychosexual hang-ups out, there isn't much here to hang-on and Weathley distant overanalytical self awareness is a huge minus on those terms as well. There's a liitle bit more about class but not enough to fill the lack of danger and allure at its center. The midsection in particular suffers a lot from this. Hammer very theatrical performance is very in synch with what the movie wants to be, but his matine idol impression is exactly that and one can't fail but miss the minimum amount of danger to give the drama some energy. It is typical of Wheatley's literalism that this Rebecca rightfully restablishes Maxim's murderer status, but none of Du Maurier's ambiguity towards him. Maybe the problem is that the when Hitchcock did his calculated gun-for-hire work in the 1940 version (and again the film is so self-aware about this, the comparison is all but inevitable) he was doing so for David Selznick, a man of questionable aesthetic tastes but very clearly mad and giving to his own taste for amour fou excesses and Wheatley is doing so for Working Title (the proud face of defanged British cinema for three decades now) and, well, Netflix. So the possessiveness isn't about people oblique and not always trustworthy desires, but just giving yourself over to things, just disappearing into a previous set image.