Rebecca (2020)

Rebecca
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Jane Goldman, Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse
Based on: Daphne du Maurier’s novel
Cast: Lily James, Armie Hammer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ann Dowd, Tom Goodman-Hill, John Hollingworth, Keeley Hawes, Sam Riley, Bill Paterson
Seen on: 20.2.2021

Plot:
Working as a companion to Mrs van Hopper (Ann Dowd) has brought the unnamed protagonist (Lily James) to Monte Carlo where Mrs van Hopper spies Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer), whose somewhat tragic story precedes him: he is a widower and lives at the grand estate of Manderley, now all alone. When Mrs van Hopper falls ill, the protagonist and Maxim de Winter start to spend more time with each other and finally he asks her to marry him. But living in Manderley, where the shadow of Maxim’s deceased wife Rebecca hangs over everything and her housekeeper Mrs Danvers (Kristin Scott Thomas) makes sure it doesn’t leave, proves quite a challenge for them.

Rebecca is an okay adaptation of a really excellent novel. That squandered potential leaves a film that is decidedly meh, but very pretty.

The film poster showing Maxim (Armie Hammer) looking into the distance as he holds the protagonist's (Lily James) face. She is looking up at him.
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Seberg (2019)

Seberg
Director: Benedict Andrews
Writer: Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Yvan Attal, Gabriel Sky, Jack O’Connell, Margaret Qualley, Colm Meaney, Vince Vaughn, Stephen Root, Anthony Mackie, Zazie Beetz
Seen on: 8.10.2020

Content Note: (critical treatment of) racism

Plot:
Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart) leaves her husband Romain Gary (Yvan Attal) and their son (Gabriel Sky) in France to go to the USA to shoot a movie. On her flight, she meets Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie) and finds herself drawn to him, as well as to his politics: he fights for (Black) civil rights. Jean becomes involved with Hakim and the cause, drawing the attention of the FBI who fear that her celebrity status will lend to much credence to the civil rights movement. They send agent Jack Solomon (Jack O’Connell) to spy on her and embark on a campaign to completely discredit Jean, utterly destroying her reputation.

Seberg has its heart in the right place, but it does make some problematic choices in the way it tells its story, leaving it to undermine itself.

The poster showing Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart) in profile, wearing a striped dress.
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