A brutal film about power. About systemic power and personal power. I don't think this is a misogynistic film; those accusations seemingly arose from it sideswiping a lot of liberal audience member's pat expectations (judging by some of the comments I heard leaving a very middle class 'art' cinema). Come the end, consider who rises to 'the top' and why.
If you are able to suspend the utterly unbelievable premise that a young, repressed woman in 1865 is so hungry for sex (which we assume she has never been properly introduced to, let alone ever had) that she immediately falls in love with a man who forces his way into her room and begins to rape her...?
Theatrical director William Oldroyd makes a bold feature debut here with an adaptation of Leskov's 'Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District' resetting the tale in Victorian England. Florence Pugh gives a ferocious performance here well supported by the ensemble especially Naomi Ackie (Anna) and Christopher Fairbank (the father-in-law). Oldroyd's control in his construction of images is well evident.
Florence Pugh gives an incredible performance in this gripping thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole way through and has the feeling of Hitchcock meets Lars von Trier. This film also moves so fluidly that you will feel every emotion without even realizing it.
There is a glimmer of something truly worthy here. Sadly (and oh so distastefully), what would appear to be a movie about the oppression and suppression of women quickly devolves into an inelegant misogynistic freakshow. Florence Pugh is a poor actress wholly ill-fitted to the period, but is hardly alone here in seeming like an awkward party guest suddenly given lines to deliver. A clumsy masquerade, deeply ugly.
Digital. Although sometimes there's a schematic "realism" à la Andrea Arnold ("Wuthering Heights" mostly, by the period and geography), the director's theatrical training allows it to overlap a collection of freaks effects and resists a staged idea of the scene, which keeps the interest of the film - as the reiteration of the protagonist's immutability with different meanings accordingly to action.
5/10. Sort of like dropping the titular Shakespeare character into a Bronte novel, LADY MACBETH is an odd mishmash that doesn't quite work. The central issue is that our protagonist appears to be motivated largely out of boredom and pettiness--which doesn't really make sense considering the series of violent crimes she commits. Florence Pugh is mesmerizing, though, and I eagerly await her next performance.
Listen, I'm always down for a film that takes place in the English moors — and Lady Macbeth is a smart, assured first feature — but it ultimately feels a little too restrained. I wanted it to be messier, more unhinged. It's gorgeous, Florence Pugh is a bonafide star, and the script is pretty tight, but I was still left wanting.
Lady Macbeth thrives on the contemporary viewer’s overconfident understanding of privilege and discomfort with pre-suffrage treatment of women, calling for a more critical look at how amorality actually snowballs. Multiple characters, including Katherine & her lascivious-turned-weary lover Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis) juggle personalities that are dizzyingly despicable one moment and desirable the next.
Although it has an interesting engagement with colonised narratives - someone is reprieved from history, another drowned in it - it has a more shaky relationship with period. The line drawn, quite clearly, from complete repression to unbridled frenzy feels a modern one, and Pugh's performance ("bratty" is apt) very contemporary. Not bad things in another film, but the austerity and punk don't mesh.