A young Englishman plots revenge against his late cousin's mysterious, beautiful wife, believing her responsible for his death. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.
Philip, an orphan, was taken in and brought up by his cousin Ambrose, a Devon landowner he loves like a father. At a time, Ambrose, who has been advised by his physician a warmer climate, leaves for Tuscany. There he meets and marry Rachel, a half-Italian cousin of his. After an idyllic outset, the situation deteriorates. Shortly before his death, Ambrose manages to alert Philip: his wife is killing him slowly. Willing to sort out the truth, Philip goes to Ambrose's place but he does not find Rachel, who has gone away. Instead he meets Rainaldi, her friend and lawyer, who does not inspire him with confidence. He returns to his estate, persuaded that Rachel is evil and is the direct cause of Ambrose's death. Some time later, Rachel announces her coming. Determined to welcome her coolly, he is stunned to discover a woman not only beautiful but elegant, intelligent and sensitive. Instead of strangling her like he said he would, he falls in love. Madly.Written by
Rachel, of course, comes out of the heart and mind of Daphne Du Maurier, the same author who gave us Rebecca and even if we never met her we discover she was a nasty piece of business, she also gave us Melanie Daniels in The Birds, the spoiled rich girl from San Francisco. Here, Rachel is more of an enigma and as played by Rachel Weisz, a dangerously, too good to be true lady of mystery. Rachel Weisz is absolutely captivating and perhaps that's why I was so aware of Sam Claflin's shortcomings as an an actor. I don't want to be unkind. He has presence and charm but I was painfully aware of the performance, specially when he has Rachel Weisz being totally present in the moment. Roger Michell allows the candles, the jewels and the locations to have their moments, beautifully. Recommend it for a stormy Sunday afternoon.
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