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
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The husband's corpse which is buried in the forest is very clearly (and obviously) a dummy. See more »
You will alter your behavior, Madame.
And how will I alter my behavior, Sir?
You will never see that man again. He will be sent from this house and you will remain here, *indoors*, with your prayer book.
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Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
German folk tune
Lyrics by Joachim Neander, translated by Catherine Winkworth See more »
Watch it for Florence Pugh
The mood of the 19th century is captured well in the silence of this film, which for the most part is sparse on dialog and has little soundtrack. This allows us to hear all of those wonderful sounds of heavy wooden doors in the mansion, and the wind blustering in those beautiful open spaces of Scotland. Florence Pugh has an engaging screen presence and is one to watch for, though I'm not so sure I see the chemistry in the affair her character has with Cosmo Javis's. The story is mostly faithful to the original novella from minor Russian Golden Age author Nikolai Leskov (and one of his better works), but somehow it seems a little off here, maybe because her bored/dominated predicament segues to the affair/murder too quickly, maybe because the servant character (Naomi Ackie) isn't developed all that well, or maybe because the affair doesn't seem authentic enough to justify the actions, especially the last one.
Compare these bits from the novella to how the scene with the line "It's husbands and wives that kiss like that" plays out:
"'Then why did you kiss me that way?'
Sergei said nothing at all.
'It's only husbands and wives,' Katerian Lvovna went on, playing with his curls, 'who shake the dust off each other's lips like that. Kiss me so that these young apple blossoms over us fall to the ground. Like this, like this,' Katerian Lvovna whispered, twining around her lover and kissing him with passionate abandon."
Followed later by:
"The old clerk, asleep in the shed, began to hear through his sound sleep, in the stillness of the night, now whispering and quiet laughter, as if mischievous children were discussing some wicked way to mock feeble old age; now ringing and merry laughter, as if mermaids were tickling somebody. It was all Katerina Lvovna frolicking and playing with her husband's young clerk, basking in the moonlight and rolling on the soft rug. White young blossoms from the curly apple tree poured down on them, poured down, and then stopped pouring down. Meanwhile, the short summer night was passing; the moon hid behind the steep roofs of the tall storehouses and looked askance at the earth, growing dimmer and dimmer; a piercing cat duet came from the kitchen roof, then spitting, angry snarling, after which two or three cats, losing hold, tumbled noisily down a bunch of boards leaning against the roof."
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