Notes from the Weekend & a Few Lovely Links

Notes from the Weekend & a Few Lovely Links 26.10.20

THIS WEEKEND WE watched Rebecca, the 2020 adaption of Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel recently released on Netflix. It’s directed by Ben Wheatley and stars Armie Hammer, Lily James and Kristin Scott Thomas. We’d plan to watch this film last week, and I was so excited. A week before, I had accidentally stumbled upon the novel without any knowledge of the upcoming adaption. It was fast-paced and gripping at times and I nearly read it in one sitting, telling P bits and pieces along the way.

Saturday night arrived and we set up the projector, made popcorn, lit some candles and opened a bottle of wine. P (based on the trailer) wasn’t sure it would be all that good, but I was hopeful that at the very least, there would be sweeping views of the south of France and beautiful interiors in hotels in Monaco, and of course, Manderley. It was dreadful. So slow, mellow-dramatic, and disappointing.

Hammer, James and Scott Thomas were all horribly miscast. Hammer, as Maxim de Winter, is supposed to be 42 (he’s 34) and James, who plays the unnamed main character, is supposed to be twenty years younger (she’s 31). This age difference is important, as it helps to establish the second Mrs. de Winter’s extreme insecurity and naiveté. Kristin Scott Thomas, who plays Mrs. Danvers, is far too elegant in appearance and therefore wholly unconvincing for the role, a character who could possibly be the most frightening housekeeper in gothic romance thriller history, and who, in the novel, is described as having “prominent cheek-bones and great, hollow eyes [that] gave her a skull’s face, parchment-white, set on a skeleton’s frame”. In fact, the author rarely mentions the frightening housekeeper without describing “her white skull’s face” or “dead skull’s face”. The ending for this character in the 2020 film is also completely fabricated and does nothing for the story line.

There were also other seemingly random departures from the novel that did help to tell the story and P perhaps said it best while we were watching: Clearly it’s more about style than substance. I knew this early on in the film, but optimistically decided to keep slogging through, thinking it might get better. It didn’t. How could they get it so wrong? Of course it follows in the footsteps of Alfred Hitchcock’s first American film of the same name made in 1940, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The British director had only arrived in California the year before, in 1939. I haven’t even seen this version yet, but can imagine thinking much worse of Wheatley’s adaptation after comparing it to Hitchcock’s. Perhaps we’ll plan to watch this one next Saturday night.

This weekend, the clocks also went back an hour, so there was a feeling of luxurious time. We slept late, ate good food and for a bit, forgot about politics and pandemics and lived in the moment. 

This week’s links include 10 Classic Elements for Creating English Cottage Charm in your Home; teddy coats and lip conditioner for winter days; how to control stress and much, much more.


{p.s.} past weekend links

A few lovely links :


* 10 Classic Elements for Creating English Cottage Charm in your Home

* For winter days: this Oversized Alpaca Blend Turtleneck Knit Sweater & these Earrings

* Autumnal cabins in the US where you can enjoy the colours

* Tour a Carpenter & MacNeille Designed Home

* For the weekend: this Long Teddy Coat & this Lip Conditioner

* Cortisol 101: How to Control our Stress from the Inside Out

* At work: this Riko Indigo Denim Jacket & this Perfect Tote

* A Glass Floor in a Dublin Grocery Opens a Window to Medieval Viking History