Lady Macbeth (2017)
Critic Consensus: Lady Macbeth flashes some surprising toughness beneath its period exterior, bolstered by a mesmerizing -- and unforgiving -- central performance by Florence Pugh.
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as Dr. Bourdon
as Father Peter
as Mr. Robertson
as Mr. Kirkbride
as Detective Logan
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Critic Reviews for Lady Macbeth
The brazenness of her actions and opacity of her emotions suggest a tragic heroine in the grand tradition ... but the film lacks the propulsive drive to make her fate moving.
Pugh is a wrecking crew, communicating pure malevolence with a simple glance, but always keeping her composure. She may be evil, but she's first and foremost a lady.
Director William Oldroyd delivers a taut and well-paced period drama elevated by Pugh's riveting performance.
Audience Reviews for Lady Macbeth
The movie's exploration of power dynamics goes way beyond just gender, I just wish the plot was as bold as all the ideas simmering within the screenplay.
Florence Pugh is a revelation, delivering an astonishing performance in this tense, slow-burning period drama about a woman compelled by dark circumstances to act in questionable ways in order to survive an oppressive environment that would easily crush her otherwise.
As an avid period design geek, this year has been the jackpot for late 19th century-set films. If you've haven't seen Sophia Coppola's remake of The Beguiled, Terence Davies' biopic of Emily Dickinson A Quiet Passion, or my personal favorite, Robert Michell's remake of My Cousin Rachel, I would advise adding all of them to your watch list. That is, if you like dimly lit estates populated by stuffy-dressed women with English accents. All of these films carry prominent themes of female repression, oppression, and empowerment. Lady Macbeth deals with these themes in a similar but much more cavalier manner. Of course, her motivations stem from her being trapped in a loveless marriage with an impotent husband and his abusive father. In the form of a stable boy, she finds her liberation. However, her liberation is only the tipping point of her more repugnant nature. The victim becomes the abuser, and, like the Shakespearean character with whom she shares a name, she sheds her passive nature in a ruthless pursuit of power. Many will often complain that these types of period pieces are slow paced, but this one just flies by. Florence Pugh channels early Anthony Hopkins at times with her manic-to-meditative intensity, and each scene vacillates between a moving painting and crime scene. This is her movie, and she owns it from start to finish. It is a tale told by a sociopath, full of sex and murder, signifying a good movie.
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