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  • Writer's pictureriawoodburn


Updated: May 18, 2020

Passionate and raw, Lady Macbeth (2016) excels on all levels. A period drama set in 19th century industrial Britain but without the ostentatious fineries, Lady Macbeth documents the evolution of newly married Katherine (Florence Pugh) from a victim to master of her fate. As a young woman and the product of her time, Katherine is bound to marry and transit to her husband’s possession. Nevertheless, our heroine who straight out of a Daphne de Maurier novel holds a hidden strength, a steel core that turns her fortunes around.

Embarking on an affair after her husband is missing and her cruel custodian father in law dies, her life becomes spontaneous and free. However, after the surprise arrival of her husband, Katherine has no desire for life to go back to what it was, and backed into a corner doesn’t falter. This is when we see her real intentions unveiled. Pretty female protagonists, that are as bad as hell, can get away with a lot and Kathrine is no exception.

Florence Pugh is magnificent and plays the anti-hero to perfection. The performances of her handmaid Anna (Naomi Ackie) and lover Sebastian (Cosmos Jarvis) were fine companions, who were swept along with her impending misdemeanours unaware of her true nature. The screenplay adapted from a novel by Alice Birch, is a tension-filled well-structured narrative, set within an elegant production. A success combination that is set to make Lady Macbeth timeless.

(Photography: Sixty-Six Pictures/ BBC Films/ British Film Institute, Creative England, Oldgarth Media/ iFeatures)

Lady Macbeth, 2016 (film), directed by William OLDROYD. UK: Sixty-Six Pictures


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