Some actors are well known for, among being talented performers, looking absolutely stunning in period appropriate costumes. When it comes to director Ben Wheatley’s modern adaptation of author Daphne du Maurier’s romantic thriller Rebecca, the leads in the film both fit the bill, as Downton Abbey and Cinderella star Lily James is about to court The Man from U.N.C.L.E. heartthrob Armie Hammer. And the results are as torridly fascinating, and beautifully dressed, as you’d think. See for yourself in the first trailer for this Netflix original:
Based on the iconic 1938 novel of the same name, Rebecca sees what looks like a simple whirlwind romance between our beautiful protagonist (Lily James) and wealthy widower Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer) turn into something seemingly much more sinister. As their love leads to marriage, the new Mrs. de Winter finds that she still as some competition from her husband’s late wife. Naturally this leads to all sorts of intrigue, the presence of a kind but shadowy housekeeper (Kristen Scott Thomas) and some appropriately cryptic imagery.
On top of the fact that both Lily James and Armie Hammer are dressed in the resplendent sort of costuming you’d expect in an adaptation of Rebecca, this new spin on the classic tale of Maxim de Winter’s deadly secret is an absolute wonder to behold visually. Much as he did with his 2015 adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel High Rise, Ben Wheatley has once again exercised his unique visual stamp upon a book that fans have come to know and love over decades.
It also helps that Wheatley and Hammer are reteaming for Rebecca, after first collaborating on the off-kilter 2017 comedy Free Fire, which saw Armie Hammer dressed in the fashions of the ‘70s. With that comparison in mind, as well as his upcoming role in Kenneth Branagh’s Death on The Nile, you can see where Hammer built his bona-fides when it comes to wearing classic fashions well. And then, of course, there’s Lily James’ expertise of several seasons worth of beautiful Downton Abbey garb, which saw her dressing in the height of 1920s fashions. So when we mentioned James and Hammer’s clothing as a selling point for Rebecca, it was to hammer home just how fit for these characters our leads seem to be.
What’s going to be most interesting with Rebecca is seeing how Ben Wheatley deals with this new film’s own particular set of ghosts. Most notably adapted by the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock, the 1940 version starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine has stood as the landmark adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s literary source. Now, a new version of this dangerously gorgeous tale will hit Netflix subscriber’s screens, as well as some limited theatrical venues, when Rebecca haunts audiences of a new generation on October 21st.
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