Lady Macbeth Review
Northumberland, 1865. Resenting her arranged marriage to older colliery heir Alexander (Paul Hilton), 17-year-old Katherine (Florence Pugh) embarks upon an affair with stable groom Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis) and resorts to murder when their romance is discovered.
Despite the title, there’s nothing Scottish or Shakespearean about this tale of murderous Victorian passion. Playwright Alice Birch based the core plot on Nikolai Leskov’s 1865 novella Lady Macbeth Of The Mtsensk District, but her first screenplay also invokes the spirit of such ill-fated literary heroines as Madame Bovary, Thérèse Desqueyroux and Lady Chatterley. Yet the clearest influence on theatre director William Oldroyd’s feature debut is Andrea Arnold’s sombre 2011 take on Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, which explored the historical British attitudes to gender, class and race that persist today.
An intelligently scripted and imposingly played costume noir.
Although she has been sold into marriage to meet a family debt, Katherine (Florence Pugh) is never a distressed damsel in a Gothic fairy tale. She may be rejected by Alexander (Paul Hilton), a man twice her age, on her wedding night, but she also spurns the sympathy of her near-mute black maid, Anna (Naomi Ackie), and deeply resents her God-fearing disapproval when she begins flaunting her affair with uncouth groom Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis). Moreover, when reprimanded for her reckless adultery, Katherine turns to murder, revealing the full extent of her scorned fury.
Much of the power of this punishingly austere picture comes from then 19-year-old Florence Pugh’s arresting performance. Her transition from reluctant bride to cunning psychotic may owe as much to pennydreadfuldom as Anna’s overly convenient mutism, but Katherine’s self-possessed defiance towards Alexander and saturnine father-in-law Boris (Christopher Fairbank) is as natural as her delight in the moors and her emancipatory lust for Sebastian.
In only his second role, singer-songwriter Jarvis is more persuasive as a swaggering stud than a sacrificial lamb, but he is just as much a victim as the playthings Kika Magalhaes keeps chained up in Nicolas Pesce’s The Eyes Of My Mother. Indeed, the two films have much in common through their visual restraint and heightened use of sound. The thud of boots on bare floorboards starkly conveys the shabby grandeur of the setting (actually Lambton Castle in Durham) as ably as Jacqueline Abrahams’ spartan décor. Holly Waddington’s laced-up costumes reinforce the restrictive nature of Pugh’s existence, but the formal symmetry of the furnishings is contrasted with the untamed romanticism of the surrounding countryside in the same way that Alexander’s stilted self-arousal is juxtaposed with the wild abandon of Katherine’s love-making with Sebastian.
Despite being besotted with him, Katherine still uses Sebastian as a pawn in her power game. And the ending is all the more disturbing because not only has she challenged the established patriarchy of the society she exists in, the only way she could find to overcome it is by adopting its exploitative hypocrisy for her own ends.
This intelligently scripted and imposingly played costume noir revisits the conventions of Victorian melodrama to comment on modern attitudes to oppression, prejudice and morality.
Connect with us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER to see all of our Film, Music, Fashion and Lifestyle News and Posts Direct in your Feeds! On our Social Media Pages You'll also get a whole host of fun content as well weird and wonderful posts that don't make it onto here! Keep some FUN in your social media with FLIXAL !
We hope you love reading the Articles, News and Reviews on Flixal but did you know you can also Watch Film & TV and also take part in our Film Club? Did you know you can WIN tickets to Film Premieres, you can get invites to Exclusive Events and MUCH MUCH MORE! Did you know you can download over 300,000 e-books on Flixal? That's right we have our e-book section is totally free to members? Thats right There's so many reasons to enjoy using Flixal
Flixal Video on Demand and Digital Broadcast Platform provides you the viewer with an ever growing channel of Film, TV, Sport and Entertainment. There's no need to Sign Up to a monthly Membership fee, you can simply click and Stream or Download. The choice is YOURS! Download to your TV, Computer or Mobile Device to View on or Offline or Stream from the site or one of our Broadcast Delivery Partners. We couldn't make it any easier! Why do we offer you so many options? We want to make entertainment more fun, more easy and much less hassle.
We are able to broadcast all over the world online and on TV, but we are working hard to make that not be our limit. We are working with our team to create new markets and develop platforms for parts of the world that are yet to get access to Streaming and Digital Download platforms. We are working with the latest most high tech Data steam teams to utilise their new codec to deliver 4k and UD so that fantastic quality content can be provided anywhere.
We are working with Content Creators Direct and with Distributors to create a wide variety of Content for you to choose from. Are you a Content Creator? Would you like to have your content Broadcast and Monetised through our platform? Get in touch with us today here! Want to see something we don't have yet? Let us know! Got a story for us to feature? Get in touch!
At Flixal we love everything FILM MUSIC FASHION LIFESTYLE and we love bringing it to you. Click the relevant section to see more or browse all the articles.
Welcome to our world Welcome to FLIXAL