Lady Macbeth

"This brilliantly feminist British indie film plunges a cold, sharp knife into the back of bonnet dramas." - TimeOut

“Director William Oldroyd’s debut feature Lady Macbeth returns, again and again, to a single shot: Florence Pugh, as Katherine, a young woman forced into a loveless marriage with a sexually dysfunctional and abusive heir to a coal mine, sits perfectly still on a couch, smoothing the thick folds of her blue gown and staring straight ahead. Her face betrays no sign of the pent-up rage, wild lust or coldblooded determination that, alternately, motivate her. A cat jumps down from a cabinet. She remains motionless.

“This image, this woman, is familiar. She is Catherine Earnshaw of Wuthering Heights, swearing “I am Heathcliff.” She is Emma Bovary and Lady Chatterley: passionate and stifled. And, of course, she’s Lady Macbeth, asking the spirits to turn her breast milk into poison.

“Oldroyd’s brilliance (and Pugh’s) is to probe this age-old archetype — the Gothic antiheroine, the adulteress — and find pathos and cruelty. It’s also to uncover the complex web of hierarchies — of race and class, as well as gender — that ensnare and empower her.

“Lady Macbeth was adapted by screenwriter Alice Birch from Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk, an 1865 novella by Russian author Nikolai Leskov.” - The Washington Post


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