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My Cousin Rachel


Stars: Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Holliday Grainger, Iain Glen, Andrew Knott

Director: Roger Michell

After a gap of 65 years, here's another try at Daphne Du Maurier's 19th century suspense drama about the enigmatic Rachel Ashley.

The old black-and-white version made an international star out of Richard Burton, but I fancy this latest attempt is unlikely to do the same for the rather stolid Claflin, who's shown up well in some previous films, but here has as much charisma as a wet weekend on the Norfolk coast.

He's Philip, whose uncle/guardian marries said Rachel (Weisz), but becomes progressively unwell, finally sending Philip a note that reads 'She has done for me at last. Rachel my torment. Come soonest.'

Philip hotfoots it to his uncle's country estate, but all too soon (much too soon) falls under the bewitchingly unfathomable Rachel's spell, to the extent that he forgets about childhood sweetheart Louise (Grainger) and makes over the soon-to-be-his estate and all the family jewels to Rachel.

She eventually allows him into her bed, but then gives him the cold shoulder.

As in the book and the previous film, the mystery of Rachel is never solved.

Weisz is well cast in the title role, and has no problem dominating proceedings throughout, but the film, although visually striking in parts, is rather dull, unnecessarily bucolic, and unvarying in its approach.

David Quinlan

UK 2017. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox (Fox Searchlight). Colour by Alpha Cine.
107 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 05 Jun 2017