Wednesday, August 9, 2017

[Review] Lady MacBeth

You could definitely call Lady MacBeth the cousin to this year's My Cousin Rachel. It's another dark and scandalous British period piece set in the mid-1800s. But this cousin is the better of the two.

Katherine (Florence Pugh) is a young woman who's been sold into marriage with a dreadfully controlling and unpleasant middle-aged man. Safe to say, she hates it. But when Katherine sparks up a steamy affair with a grounds worker, everything changes as she engages in a chain of rebellion.

"Drab" is the ultimate word that comes to mind when describing this movie. The dour situation... The dingy living quarters... The static camerawork... All the scenes of people getting beaten... "Shit hitting the fan" also comes to mind. There's some nasty confrontations and drastic table turns. This film doesn't dance around the drama, it dives right into it. And just when you think the well might be running dry, something new comes up that raises the stakes and pushes the film into even darker territory.

Newcomer Florence Pugh gives a tremendous central performance that's both tumultuous and commanding. As you can guess, this is far from a feel-good film. But the lead character's transition from sympathetic victim to despicable villain is something jaw-dropping to witness.

( 7.5/10 )

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