Unbridled Extravagance

My Cousin Rachel

Director: Roger Michell

Cast: Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Iain Glen, Holliday Grainger, Pierfrancesco Favino, Andrew Knott, Tim Barlow

South African born British based director Roger Michell has been responsible for such films as Notting Hill, Changing Lanes, Morning Glory and Hyde Park on Hudson. Michell returns with a cinematic adaptation of the Victorian Gothic romantic drama by Daphne du Maurier My Cousin Rachel set in the dramatic cliffs of Devon and Cornwall and also in Florence Italy.

My Cousin Rachel is a handsome cinematic production held together by a suitably ambiguous performance by Oscar winner Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener, Youth) as Rachel Ashley who arrives in England to seduce the impressionably young Philip Ashley wonderfully played with besotted bewilderment by Sam Claflin (Me Before You, Their Finest and The Riot Club) who is proving to be one Britain’s rising young actors.

When young Philip’s legal guardian travels to Tuscany to recuperate and then mysteriously dies, leaving Philip’s claim to his cousin’s massive estate in a precarious position, Philip travels to Italy to uncover the source of the mystery surrounding his new relative the beautiful Rachel. Upon arrival in Italy he does not meet Rachel but the Italian lawyer handling his cousin’s affairs played by Pierfrancesco Favino (Rush, Angels and Demons), who Philip suspects is conniving with Rachel to steal Philip’s rightful inheritance.

Back in England, advised by his godfather Nick Kendall played by Game of Thrones star Iain Glen and his daughter Louisa played by Holliday Grainger (Cinderella, The Finest Hours and Anna Karenina), Philip is initially weary of Rachel as she sets foot on English soil soon to arrive at the family home at dusk.

Incredibly dramatic, the one thing Philip has not had in his life is any female influences so naturally he is completely beguiled by the beautiful and exotic half Italian Rachel who makes such a fashionable entrance in local society, which is enough to cause a mild scandal.

But as family jewels are generously given away and as Philip approaches his 25th birthday upon which he will rightfully inherit his cousin’s massive estate, intrigue within the landed gentry is heightened by the scheming and provocative Rachel who often dressed in mourning is portrayed as a sort of Black Widow, a woman with a rumoured  history of killing off husbands to profit off their inheritances.

My Cousin Rachel is the Victorian femme fatale, a noir female character who is subtly undermining all that the male hero is trying to achieve, which in this case is quenching his unbridled lust matched only by Rachel’s own unbridled extravagance. Sexual tensions simmer as the scheming continues, but as the narrative draws to a dramatic conclusion, My Cousin Rachel leaves audiences with a portrait of a woman with considerably dubious intentions.

My Cousin Rachel gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and will be enjoyed by audiences that love period dramas with a touch of the Victorian Gothic, especially scenes of luminous pearls cascading down darkened candlelit staircases.

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
August 2017
M T W T F S S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
  • China Unveils Golden Rooster Awards Nominees, to Surprising Jibes
    China has released the list of nominees for its upcoming Golden Rooster Awards, a set of government-approved film industry prizes that it wants to be seen as rivaling the Taipei-based Golden Horse Awards, historically considered as the “Chinese-language Oscars.” The winning Roosters will be announced amidst a film festival running Dec. 28-30 in the port […]
    Rebecca Davis
  • ‘Pen15’ to End With Season 2 on Hulu
    “Pen15,” Hulu’s comedy series created by Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, will end with its second season. The remaining episodes of the now final season will debut on the streamer on Dec. 3. A Hulu representative confirmed the news to Variety, stating that Erskine and Konkle “feel the story they wanted to tell has come to an […]
    J. Kim Murphy
  • Music Industry Moves: Berklee Establishes Al Schmitt Engineering Scholarship
    Berklee College of Music has established a scholarship named after Grammy Award-winning engineer Al Schmitt. The fund was created by the school’s Music Production and Engineering Department and seeded with a $50,000 gift from the endowment fund of former Berklee faculty member Wayne Wadhams, who played a key role in building the department, beginning in […]
    Shirley Halperin
  • Gotham Awards 2021 Winners List (Updating Live)
    The 31st annual Gotham Awards is a key stop in the awards season marathon, especially for lower-budget indies looking for some traction for the Oscars race. However, not every likely Oscar contender found itself up for Gothams, including “The Power of the Dog,” “Tick, Tick… Boom!” and “The Harder They Fall,” as they exceeded the […]
    katieesong
  • Muse Entertainment Hires Alex Jordan to Serve as Senior VP of Production
    Muse Entertainment Enterprises has tapped film and TV vet Alex Jordan to serve as its new senior VP of production. Jordan, who starts on January 1, will be based in Toronto and focus on producing programming for the international market. Jordan most recently served as a producer on Paramount Plus’ “Mayor of Kingstown.” He also […]
    varietyschneider
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90