What if the great love of your life also might have killed your cousin? That’s the dilemma of Philip (Sam Claflin), who is both plotting revenge and falling in love with Rachel (Rachel Weisz). She may or may not have poisoned his godfather, as well, and My Cousin Rachel follows Philip as he tries to figure out whether or not the great love of his life poisoned the man who guided him to manhood.
It’s a fairly famous novel that hasn’t been adapted before, unsuccessfully, and now 20th Century Fox has tried again with their version. The key to this film is that it has to balance its titular character. Is she a cold-blooded killer, who’s moving from one wealthy man to his cousin? Or is she a victim of circumstance? Or is she something else entirely?
The key to the film is Rachel Weisz, the film’s title character. Trying to walk that line of ambiguity is difficult; it would be easy to play the character as either interested in the money or genuinely in love with two successive characters. The key is to keep us guessing, to keep us wondering which side of the equation she’s on. Weisz is masterful in the role, carrying this film to a much better place than it would be without her.
It’s a solid film but relies on her to hit that next gear. That’s a bit of a problem as the moments without her feel empty. This is a solid film, and a good watch, but this doesn’t demand to be seen.
Some deleted scenes and generic EPK pieces round up the extras.
20th Century Fox presents My Cousin Rachel . . Written and Directed by Roger Michell based off the novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier. Starring Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin. Run Time: 106 minutes. Rated PG-13. Released on 8.29.17
Tags: My cousin rachel, Rachel Weisz