Movie Diary 6/5/2017

My Cousin Rachel (Roger Michell, 2017). Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin in Daphne Du Maurier’s story of ambiguity personified in a recently-widowed woman; when she arrives at her cousin’s Cornwall mansion, is her spellcasting innocent or predatory? That’s plenty for a movie, and Weisz plays it down the line. (full review 6/9)

The Dumb Girl of Portici (Lois Weber, Phillips Smalley, 1916). A big physical production of a sweeping melodrama, and the only movie starring the legendary Pavlova. She’s a fascinating presence – no surprise that a ballet giant would have a gift for distinctive pantomime. The crowd scenes are excitingly choreographed, and the seaside village thoroughly convincing.