The 2020 mystery and romance adaptation of Rebecca was released digitally on Netflix as of Oct. 21. It stars well known actress Lily James as Mrs. DeWinter and actor Armie Hammer as Maxim DeWinter, who fall madly in love within the glory of Monte Carlo. 

Taking place in 1935, the young newlywed arrives at her husband, Maxim Dewinter’s striking family estate on the rugged cliffs of Cornwall. However, with the sinister presence of the housekeeper Mrs. Danvers (Kristen Scott Thomas), she finds herself battling the shadow of DeWinter’s first wife, Rebecca, as her presence in the house lives on long after death. 

People worried James’ acting technique would be too strong and bold to play Mrs. DeWinter. However, she was able to convey the meek, timid and naive character well. Yet, as the movie progresses, she is not able to grow the naivety into a surer sense of self. Hammers’ British accent is unimpressive and often his physicality mistakes stiffness for power. He seems lost in his role and fails to bring flame when needed in scenes and lacks chemistry with James. A bright spot in the film is Thomas’ portrayal as Mrs. Danvers. With a strained smile mask like disposition, she is a terror to encounter. She continuously obsesses over her dear Rebecca and relishes in her part. She gives a precise and revealing delivery every time on the screen.  

Rebecca has been adapted for film countless times, and the Alfred Hitchcok 1940 version has been the most famous.


Rebecca has been adapted for film countless times, and the Alfred Hitchcok 1940 version has been the most famous. This year’s new film, directed by Ben Wheatley, underlines the strength of the 1940 version but still highlights its own style, atmosphere and storyline itself. Though this remake is not nearly as popular as Hitchcok’s, audiences still come to enjoy it. The movie consists of beautifully crafted settings and costumes, perfectly according to the time period. 

Running at 121 minutes, some say the movie is underwhelming and lacking elements of dark tone and suspense. However, this film strikes a chord with women and highlights girl power through Mrs. DeWinter’s growth. With mild violence and some inappropriate language, Rebecca is a classic source of mystery, romance, love, hate and a beautiful setting.

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