7:00 PM, 12th August, 2017
In 19th century Cornwall, Philip (Claflin) has been adopted as heir by his cousin Ambrose, who spends every summer in Italy. One year he starts writing effusive letters about their cousin Rachel. In short succession we hear that he’s married her, that he regrets marrying her, and that Rachel may be trying to kill him. Philip goes at once, to find Ambrose already dead and Rachel nowhere to be found.
After he returns to England, Philip gets a letter from Rachel, saying she’d like to visit; and he is determined to get the better of her by forcing her to confess to Ambrose’s murder. It’s obvious he’s a complete mooncalf; it would be hard to conceive of anyone he could get the better of – let alone the wily Rachel (Weisz), who quickly lulls his suspicions and indeed induces him to fall in love with her.
The popular 1951 Daphne du Maurier novel was snapped up instantly by Hollywood and released as a film the year after, in black and white – in both senses. This film gives us vivid colour, reigns in the lurid romanticism, and plays up the moral ambiguity, with most clues pleasingly pointing in two directions at once.
8:55 PM, 12th August, 2017
After the success of Trainwreck, Amy Schumer is back alongside Goldie Hawn, who makes her first appearance on the big screen in 15 years! Turning 72 this year, Hawn doesn’t look a day over 50.
Emily (Schumer) is excited to go on a vacation to Ecuador with her boyfriend, until he dumps her right before the trip. Unable to find another travel partner at the eleventh hour, Emily asks her mum, Linda (Hawn), to go with her instead – promising her the ‘fun’ in ‘non-refundable trip’. Yearning to spend more time with her daughter, Linda agrees to do so, despite her fears.
In Ecuador, Emily is quickly won over by a guy she meets at the bar, who promises to bring both Linda and herself on a day trip to experience some of the country’s ‘culture’. They take the ‘scenic route’, and as the title might suggest, they’re kidnapped. What follows is a slew of adventures as they attempt to escape their kidnappers and return home.
Put aside the ugly truths of actual kidnappings for a moment, and enjoy Snatched for its comedic intention. If nothing else, I related to the mother-daughter bickering, and it’s comforting to know that others do it too.
Xin Yi Tan