My Cousin Rachel

Not rated yet!
Director
Roger Michell
Runtime
1 h 46 min
Release Date
8 June 2017
Genres
Drama, Romance
Overview
A young Englishman plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.
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  • My Cousin Rachel
    DramaMystery/SuspenseRomance We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewHow do we know what is real, what is true? Sometimes, we make judgments about what we think is real based on cold, hard evidence that seems factually incontrovertible. Other times, we make judgments about what we believe is true based on passion and experience—which can seem equally incontrovertible in a different way. And sometimes, we do both. So it is with Philip Ashley. The 24-year-old has had a bittersweet life. Though he was orphaned as a child, his kindly older cousin, Ambrose, adopted him. "I loved him like a father," Philip says. Alas, as so often is the case in 19th-century England, Ambrose has taken ill, forcing a move to the sunnier, warmer climes of Florence, Italy. Once there, he meets a beautiful widow named Rachel who immediately enchants his heart, he reports in letters back to Philip. At first, at least. After they're married, things quickly grow more ominous. "She watches me like a hawk," he writes in a recent missive to Philip. Ambrose suspects the worst of her, even insinuating that she might be behind his suddenly declining health. "Rachel—my tormentor," Ambrose writes of her. "Come quickly," he instructs Philip. Philip does as instructed, but to no avail: Ambrose has died by the time he reaches Italy. And the man's sizable estate? It will pass to Philip, according the last known will and testament of the deceased nobleman. It will all be Philip's—held in trust by his godfather, guardian and longtime family friend, Nick Kendall—at the young man's 25th birthday. Philip is convinced that Ambrose's wife is a conniving, thieving murderer. He vows justice, if not vengeance, for the tawdry crime he knows she's committed. And then one day, cousin Rachel arrives at the Ashley estate. She's hardly the hideous, murderous monster Philip has envisioned. In fact, she's kind and gentle, tender and grieving, whimsical and independent. Oh, and bewitchingly beautiful. Soon, Philip is bewitched. Besotted. Beguiled. So much so, in fact, that he begins to consider justice of another kind: giving the entirety of his inheritance to this beautiful woman—who should have rightly received it as Ambrose's wife—even as he falls more and more deeply in love with her. Philip's guardian, Kendall, isn't nearly as convinced of beautiful Rachel's innocence and inherent goodness. (Nor is Kendall's daughter, Louise, who's long harbored unrequited affection for Philip). But the young man will hear nothing of such suspicion and innuendo. There is no way his heart could be wrong in this matter, he angrily asserts. There's no way his ability to assess her character might have been influenced by her disarming charm. But it wasn't so long ago that Philip felt equally convinced of her guilt regarding Ambrose's sudden demise. And when Philip himself suddenly takes ill, old doubts about Rachel's true character begin to surface—even as his relationship with her becomes more and more intimate. Positive ElementsPhilip might be described as a true believer. Not in religious or spiritual sense, mind you, but in his unshakeable loyalty to those whom he loves. There's a naïve certainty to his love—which can be a good thing when the objects of his affection truly deserve it. Nick Kendall does his best to convince Philip that giving Rachel his entire estate, no matter how well intended that generous gesture might be, is not a wise or prudent course of action. Likewise, Kendall's daughter, Louise, is remarkably patient as she watches the man she loves repeatedly make unwise decisions regarding his relationship with Rachel. Eventually, Louise becomes an important confidant as Philip tries to determine if Rachel does indeed harbor some nefarious intent toward him. Spiritual ContentKendall and his wife are repeatedly referred to as Philip's godparents. There are passing references to vicars and parsons. A couple of scenes take place in a spare, ramshackle church. Someone exclaims, "What the devil?" Someone else says sincerely, "Thank God!" Philip jokingly tells Rachel, "I think you're a witch. Or worse." A character looks up seemingly in silent thanks to God at a key moment. Sexual ContentPhilip and Rachel kiss several times. Eventually, they consummate their relationship (with Philip seeing her willingness to sleep with him as tantamount to accepting an as-yet-unspoken marriage proposal). She beckons him into bed as the camera lens drifts out of focus. He's shirtless and her bare shoulders are visible in bed the next morning. Shortly thereafter, the couple has sex in a forest; the camera watches her face (with its disturbingly complete lack of expression or emotion) and we see movements from the shoulders up. A fever dream that Philip has may very briefly imagine the couple having sex again (though both are fully clothed). Philip thinks he sees Rachel kissing another man. He also swims naked in the ocean, and the camera spies his bare backside. Another scene pictures him shirtless. We see a room full of nude classical sculptures. An adult male is said to be "Greek" in that he prefers boys to women. Someone suggestively says that Rachel is a woman of strong, passionate appetites (and it's clear what he's trying to communicate). Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentA horse falls and is mortally injured; we see men (at a distance) shoot the animal to put it down. We see someone's dead body. In anger, a man flips over a lawyer's desk. An official statement of death regarding Ambrose says that he had a tumor that was affecting his brain and judgment. Philip grabs Rachel's neck and chokes her in a rage-filled moment. We very briefly glimpse a dead, probably beheaded, chicken in a market. [Spoiler Warning] Philip is convinced in the end that Rachel has been slowly poisoning him. So when she goes out for a horse ride, he tells her to ride along a cliff-side trail that he knows from recent experience is crumbling dangerously. She does, with disastrous results, just as Philip finds two letters of hers that potentially exonerate her. Crude or Profane LanguageOne f-word, two s-words. God's name is misused five times. We hear "d--n" once, as well as one of the British vulgarity "bloody." Drug and Alcohol ContentCharacters consume wine and ale at various social events. Philip, despondent and increasingly distrusting of Rachel, drinks wine directly from a bottle. Philip also smokes a pipe in one scene. It's possible, perhaps even likely, that Rachel is using the same toxic plant to poison Philip that she perhaps did with her former husband as well. Other Negative ElementsPhilip repeatedly rejects reasonable requests by his guardian, his banker and his lawyer to slow the pace of his plans to give Rachel his estate. ConclusionWhat is real? What is true? In the end, Philip is utterly unsure how to answer either of those questions when it comes to Rachel's motivations. She might be a guileless victim. She might be a cunning villainess. And though the film—a remake of a 1952 movie based on British novelist Daphne du Maurier's 1951 book of the same name—does lean in one of those directions, its conclusion still left me wondering, "What just happened?" And I wasn't the only one asking that question, if the many similar conversations I heard exiting the theater are any indication. Whether or not Rachel is victim or villainess, though, one thing's pretty certain here: Wherever she goes, seduction, disarray and death sure seem to follow. Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Debbie Schlussel
The New York Post



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Wknd Box Office: Megan Leavey, The Mummy, Paris Can Wait, It Comes At Night, My Cousin Rachel
    Blog Posts Movie Reviews The Mummy – Rated PG-13: I never saw the original “The Mummy” movie, but as with most other reboots, I’m not sure why this was and is necessary (other than to earn Hollywood types, including star Tom Cruise, a big paycheck). If the original Mummy movie was anything like this, I’m glad I missed it. This is a mess. About the first 25% of the movie is fine, but then it just becomes a totally ridiculous mess and never recovers. I mean, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Russell Crowe, who famously attacked Jewish circumcision but not the Muslim kind)? Really? That needed to be inserted into this movie? Only because the scriptwriters wrote such a weak, awful cyclone of a story. The tornado of a script picks everything up in ts whirlwind and then throws it to the ground, severely damaged. In the original Mummy movie, the mummy is male. In this one, it’s a woman–an Egyptian princess (Moroccan actress, Sofia Boutella), who is robbed of her birthright when her father, the Pharoah, has a male heir. Yup, somehow this faux-feminist story is a justification for the chick mummy’s evil . . . or something. It’s hard to tell which way the movie is rooting, since it’s all over the place. The movie begins with the mummy-ette’s story, then fast forwards to contemporary times when American troops are still in Iraq (this is the second movie like that this week). Cruise and a fellow former soldier are dealers in stolen antiquities looted from the Middle East (there’s Hollywood’s anti-Western, evil-White-man-takes-from-the-Muslims narrative again). They are in the mountains, scoping out the ancient Iraqi city of Nineveh (which was Assyrian, back in the day). The city is now in the control of insurgents and they end up in the crossfire. Soon the insurgents are vanquished and leave, as a sinkhole swallows everything and reveals an ancient Egyptian tomb–that of the aforementioned Egyptian princess. Cruise, the other guy, and a sexy female archeologist enter the tomb and Cruise ends up freeing the princess’ tomb from a bath of mercury, allowing her spirit to come back to life. On the way back to the West, the princess’ evil spirit causes an air disaster over the UK. Then, the story starts moving and gets very stupid very quickly. Cruise, who should be dead, is miraculously alive and constantly sees the possessed ghost of his fellow antiquities robber. Cruise learns that the sexy archeologist is really evil and an acolyte of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. But then he is allied with her against the mummy. It doesn’t make sense, nor does most of this movie. The rest of the movie revolves around the mummy trying to get a sword re-united with a magical jewel that will complete the restoration of her powers and ability to destroy humanity. Or something. It’s kinda confusing. And apparently the sword is buried in an old (but newly discovered) Crusader burial ground under the London subway. HUH? Yeah, I know. It’s absurd. And not worth your ten-bucks-plus or nearly two hours of your life you’ll never get back. ONE MARX ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Crosswalk
Cross Walk



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Guilty or Innocent? In My Cousin Rachel It's More Than Meets the Eye
    Movies A film that’s part gothic romance, part murder mystery, and part pastoral coming-of-age, My Cousin Rachel is just what a film of its genre and intentions ought to be. For making us question hundreds of years' worth of literary tropes, it merits 4 out of 5.   Synopsis Philip Ashley (Sam Claflin) is left as the heir to a large estate and much wealth when his much-loved guardian and cousin Ambrose dies abroad in Italy. Amidst his grief, Philip must also reckon with Rachel (Rachel Weisz), the woman who met Ambrose abroad and drew him into marriage after a lifetime of happy bachelorhood. Now twice-widowed, this mysterious half-Italian woman makes her way to the Ashley estate in England, but Philip is on his guard. For you see, the last few letters from Ambrose were wild with panic and horror, hastily dashed-off letters entreating that Philip save him... from the cruel and monstrous Rachel. Yet, when she arrives in England, Rachel is meek and kind. She is an ethereal kind of delicate: generous, thoughtful, tactful, and resourceful. Philip's mistrust of her gradually turns to admiration and even obsession, until he too begins to fall ill. Is Rachel a husband-killer hiding a dark secret, as he first imagined? Or are there forces even more complicated and mysterious at work?   What Works? Many aspects of this film ring quite true, from its nimble use of narration and montage, to its sure-footed period-piece aesthetic that uses scenery, props and costumes deftly without becoming distracting or trying to show off. Director Roger Michell knows when to keep framing simple, and when to add drama and romance into a shot. He understands light and darkness, something you only notice when films are particularly good or particularly bad about it. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); The cast (Weisz especially) offers gripping performances, satisfying relationships, and believable character arcs. And while Philip is a turbulent character who isn't always fun to watch or easy to empathize with, his twisting and turning orbit around Rachel remains resolutely fascinating. As a love story, a tale of loss and grief, a mystery, and ultimately a profound social commentary about obsession and the male gaze, the film works steadily on all cylinders.   What Doesn't? If anything might work against the film, it could be its slow pace and safe choices. Some will appreciate and enjoy Michell's restraint, but others will itch for larger, louder, more grotesque moments that you might expect from a movie so clearly in the gothic vein. Additionally, Claflin, while steady, is not always the thrumming star others might have been. But as the film shows him pale against his female counterpart, we are left wondering if it might all be precisely intentional!   Christian Worldview Elements / Spiritual Themes As is the case in many a gothic story, there is darkness that turns out to be more complicated than it first appears. Ultimately, this film takes a trope (the "black widow," the fortune hunter, the witch) and asks us to examine it more closely. Does a storyteller affect who we are likely to side with after hearing a tale? Does a person who speaks strangely or comes from a strange land arouse our suspicions unjustly? Is it possible the person we think of as villainous, might in fact be a victim?   CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers) MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexuality and brief strong language Language/Profanity: A few instances of mild swearing / oaths (“Bloody,” “for God’s sake”) and one use of the F-word. Sexuality/Nudity: A man and woman kiss several times. A man and woman retreat to a bed (it is implied later they have had sex). A naked man is seen from behind running into the ocean (it’s a very wide shot). A man and woman are shown having sex in the woods for a few moments from the shoulders up, but they remain fully clothed and no nudity is shown. Two characters discuss another character's sexuality by describing him as having “Greek" tastes and "liking boys." It's hinted in conversation that a female character has strong sexual "appetites." Violence/Frightening/Intense: It's implied several times that a woman may have killed her husband (perhaps by poisoning). A man is discussed by other characters as being violent and frightening. A man grabs a woman by the throat and yells at her several times. A man flips over a small table in anger. A dead body is shown briefly. A dying horse is shot to be put out of its suffering. A man on horseback nearly tumbles off a trecherous cliff. Drugs/Alcohol: Characters drink wine several times. A woman brews strange tea for others, which is viewed with suspicion.   The Bottom Line RECOMMENDED FOR: Fans of this story's original novelist Daphne Du Maurier (and stories like Rebecca and The Birds). Lovers of the gothic romance and a good period piece. Those interested in genre-subverting and gender commentary. Admirers of Rachel Weisz. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR: The impatient or easily-bored filmgoer. Those still reeling hard from broken hearts or complicated relationships. Those who need a "Wonder Woman" kind of filmic study in women. Those hoping for a super creepy horror flick. My Cousin Rachel, directed by Roger Michell, opens in theaters June 9, 2017. It runs 106 minutes and stars Sam Claflin, Rachel Weisz, Holliday Grainger, Iain Glen and Pierfrancesco Favino. Watch the trailer for My Cousin Rachel here.   Debbie Holloway is a storyteller, creator, critic and advocate having adventures in Brooklyn, New York. Publication date: June 9, 2017 googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Image courtesy: ©FoxSearchlight ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

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