Rural England, 1865. Katherine is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age, whose family are cold and unforgiving. When she embarks on a passionate affair with a young worker on her husband's estate, a force is unleashed inside her, so powerful that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants.Written by
"Lady Macbeth" is like a Charlotte Bronte novel if the main heroine were a psychopath.
Florence Pugh plays a young woman saddled with a marriage and an estate that she did not choose for herself, who gets a taste of what it is to give in to her own passionate urges when she shacks up with a hunky stable boy and then decides that she will have a life with him no matter what or who she has to eliminate to make it happen.
"Lady Macbeth" sounds dark and juicy on paper, and it could have been a fabulously lurid spin on the Victorian Gothic template, but as treated here it's far too restrained to take advantage of the pulpy subject matter. The whole film, from the direction to the performances, really needed to go for it and not hold back. Instead, it's too quiet and slow by half, and though Pugh does an admirable job, one can't help but wonder how much more memorable a character she might have been able to create had she been allowed to really go off the rails. Maybe an odd and random thought, but the whole time I was watching this movie I was thinking what a younger Naomi Watts could have done with it.
Not a total misfire, but nowhere nearly as good as it could have been.
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