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7 items from 2017

‘My Cousin Rachel’ Review: Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin Have an Uneven Affair in Moody Daphne du Maurier Adaptation

13 June 2017 7:46 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Despite its title, “My Cousin Rachel” is not a family comedy set over a Bat Mitzvah weekend in New Jersey, though it might yield similar audience demographics. Rather, it is a moody period romance from “Notting Hill” director Roger Michell starring Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin, and one of a diminishing breed of mid-budget studio dramas.

Of course, the title wouldn’t have been so funny when the novel came out in 1951, written by Daphne du Maurier. The twentieth century British author and playwright’s work has inspired many great films over the years, including Nicholas Roeg’s “Don’t Look Now” (1973), starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, as well as two from Alfred Hitchcock (“Rebecca” and “The Birds”). Lesser known is 1952 version of “My Cousin Rachel,” starring Richard Burton and Olivia de Havilland. Though classified as a romance novelist, her stories are more about the darker side of love and its obsessive qualities, »

- Jude Dry

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My Cousin Rachel review: Dir. Roger Michell (2017)

7 June 2017 8:48 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

My Cousin Rachel review: Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Enduring Love) directs Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin in this new adaption of Daphne du Maurier’s 1950’s novel.

My Cousin Rachel review by Andrew Gaudion, June 2017.

My Cousin Rachel review

‘Is she? Isn’t she? Did she? Didn’t she? These are the opening lines to set the tone for the ambiguous nature of Roger Michell’s adaption of Daphne du Maurier’s 1950’s novel. The ambiguity as to the true nature and intention of the eponymous cousin Rachel (here played by Rachel Weisz) undoubtedly stirs interest from the off, and for anyone with an interest in du Maurier, this new adaption does offer a gorgeous painterly depiction of the text. But it too often fumbles along with the mystery, resulting in a new version that struggles to keep the candle aflame when standing in the company of both the original »

- Andrew Gaudion

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Ralph Fiennes Spreads Wings Over ‘The White Crow,’ Taking Key Role

3 May 2017 5:59 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Ralph Fiennes will do double duty on his third film as director, “The White Crow,” additionally taking on the key role of Rudolf Nureyev’s teacher and mentor. The twice Oscar-nominated actor will join the international cast which has also added French actors Laurent Lafitte and Raphael Personnaz, French actress Calypso Valois and rising German star Louis Hofmann.

Fiennes will play Nureyev’s mentor Pushkin who helped launch the dancer’s international career beyond St Petersburg. In his role as director Fiennes has also newly enlisted “Jackie” costume designer Madeline Fontaine, director of photography Mike Eley and composer Ilan Eshkeri for his production team.

The biopic of the legendary Soviet ballet dancer and choreographer, which tells the story of story of his defection to the West, “The White Crow” is written by David Hare. Russian dancer and film newcomer Oleg Ivenko had previously been announced to play Nureyev with French actress Adele Exarchopoulos, »

- Robert Mitchell

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Ralph Fiennes joins cast of his Nureyev drama 'The White Crow'

3 May 2017 4:10 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Laurent Lafitte, Raphaël Personnaz, Louis Hofmann also board project.

Ralph Fiennes has joined the cast of The White Crow, his project about Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

Fiennes will play Nureyev’s teacher and mentor, Pushkin, who helped launch Nureyev’s career out of St Petersburg, and will also direct the feature.

As previously reported, professional dancer Oleg Ivenko will play the lead role of Nureyev, while fellow dancer Sergei Polunin, Blue Is The Warmest Colour star Adèle Exarchopoulos and Russian actress Chulpan Khamatova are among the cast.

The production has now also attached Elle star Laurent Lafitte, The French Minister star Raphaël Personnaz, Personal Shopper actor Calypso Valois and Land Of Mine star Louis Hofmann ahead of its summer 2017 shoot in St Petersburg and Paris, with locations including the Mariinsky Theatre and the Palais Garnier.

Two-time Oscar-nominee David Hare (The Hours, The Reader) has adapted the screenplay from Julie Kavanagh’s book Rudolf Nureyev, which »

- (Tom Grater)

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Rachel Weisz in Second Trailer for Romantic Thriller 'My Cousin Rachel'

26 March 2017 7:58 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

"Don't close the door, I cannot be alone with you." Fox Searchlight has debuted a second trailer for the new romantic thriller My Cousin Rachel, starring Rachel Weisz in a period piece based on Daphne Du Maurier's novel of the same name. Weisz plays the alluring cousin of a young Englishman, who falls for her as he attempts to seek revenge on her for supposedly murdering his guardian. Sam Claflin co-stars, along with Holliday Grainger, Iain Glen, Andrew Knott, and Poppy Lee Friar. There's some impressive cinematography in this, thanks to Dp Mike Eley (Nanny McPhee Returns), but as for the rest of it I'm not sure if it's for me. There is a great deal of sexual tension and confusion and all that good stuff. Take a peek. Here's the second official trailer for Roger Michell's My Cousin Rachel, direct from YouTube: You can still watch the »

- Alex Billington

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First Trailer for ‘My Cousin Rachel’ Finds Rachel Weisz Casting Her Dark Charms

25 January 2017 11:40 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

We have a first trailer for the dark romance My Cousin Rachel, an adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier‘s classic novel. The story is centered on an Englishman (Sam Claflin) who is caught in a bit of a pickle: he plots revenge against his cousin, Rachel (Rachel Weisz), under suspicion of murder, all the while falling for her irresistible charms. Helmed by Roger Michell, who also penned the adaptation, My Cousin Rachel could be a striking, vivid portrait of lust and revenge.

Featuring a dream-like and (more) somber rendition of “Wicked Game,” the trailer plays to the strengths of its mise-en-scène and the cinematography by Mike Eley; Candlelight, rain, and period garb are on full display.

See the trailer below, along with a synopsis, for the film that also stars Game of Thrones’ Iain Glen and Holliday Grainger:

A dark romance, My Cousin Rachel tells the story of a »

- Mike Mazzanti

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Palm Springs Film Review: ‘This Beautiful Fantastic’

18 January 2017 3:02 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

There are no puppies, kittens or baby bunnies in “This Beautiful Fantastic.” That said, however, any restraint before the altar of adorableness is abandoned in writer-director Simon Aboud’s sophomore feature. Its heroine is so Amelie-like that she’s clad and coiffed like that pixie queen’s separated-at-birth English Rose twin. This winsome comedy may lack Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s high cinematic style, but it does hit the same general mark — which is to say, a sweet spot for some viewers that might induce sugar shock in others. Those seeking twee will get their fill when Samuel Goldwyn distributes the film Stateside, presumably later this year.

A foundling dumped as a babe in a banana crate — like Moses, but wackier! — on a Hyde Park orphanage stoop, Bella Brown (Jessica Brown Findlay of “Downton Abbey”) grows up “the oddest of the odd,” a misfit whose threadbare social skills and peculiar habits »

- Dennis Harvey

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