I think Ivy is one of those movies that you may like depending on whether you love Joan Fontaine's portrayal of the main character or not. Well, I thought she was absolutely brilliant, especially when you consider she was playing against her earlier archetype of the ingénue. I also liked the cinematography, the score and some of the costumes, but it's Fontaine's excelent performance that sells this movie for me.
** 1/2. The film is about Ivy, and only Ivy. Herbert Marshall is either at sea or in South Africa, Ivy's husband is either at work or dying and Patric Knowles either on the phone or in prison waiting to be hanged. I don't mind having Joan Fontaine on the screen but too much is too much! Yes. Already forgotten.
Was hooked the moment Una O'Connor stepped into frame in a deliciously sinister opening. It's noir melodrama at full boil, and Wood's direction is pure decadence -- light and shadow, thunder and lightning, closeups and mirror shots. Subtle it's not, but it's good fun once the pace picks up. Clever too how the score turns the harpsichord motif played on-screen at the start into swimming offscreen delirium by the end.