My Cousin Rachel

Last Saturday my husband and I went to see “My Cousin Rachel”.

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Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s I wasn’t a fan of Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz but I have come to really enjoy her as an actress over the last dozen years. I have especially enjoyed the comeback she’s made over the last year making several excellent films including “The Lobster”.

“My Cousin Rachel” is basically a period piece that is also a psychological thriller. The film centers on an English man named Phillip (Sam Caflin).

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When his cousin dies in Italy a very short time after marrying a mysterious woman named Rachel (Weisz) Phillip becomes very suspicious that foul play may have been the cause of his cousin’s death. As his cousin’s heir Phillip is in charge of a large estate and he seems pretty well settled into his life. Then when Rachel arrives things change.

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Much to Phillip’s surprise he finds himself liking Rachel and then being drawn to her physically and emotionally.

If this was an American psychological thriller it would be clear that Rachel is femme fatale but the film never makes it clear what Rachel’s intentions are. This is mainly due to the wonderful performance by Weisz. She walks a tightrope, one minute she is making you think Rachel is a woman who has bad luck in life and love and the next minutes she is making you think Rachel could be capable of the most awful things. The film leaves so many loose ends that the ending of the film is open to several interpretations, which I don’t have a problem with but I realize that is not the norm for American audiences. Sam Caflin is also very good although I often found myself shaking my head at many of the decisions his character makes. It was also fun to see “Game of Thrones” actor Iain Glen pop up in a supporting role.

Overall I enjoyed the movie but I did feel that there needed to be more screen time devoted to the time between when Phillip and Rachel first meet and when Phillip begins to give her the benefit of the doubt and begins to develop feelings for her.

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It was almost as if the second he saw that she was beautiful all this initial doubts were forgotten. Despite this nitpick I did enjoy the movie and recommend for anybody who is looking for some summer counter programming at the movies.

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Here is a description:

Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.

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