Rent Lady Macbeth (2016)

3.4 of 5 from 484 ratings
1h 25min
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Synopsis:
Rural England, 1865. Katherine (Florence Pugh) is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age, and his cold unforgiving family. 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.
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , , Anton Palmer, , , , , ,
Directors:
William Oldroyd
Producers:
Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly
Writers:
Nikolai Leskov, Alice Birch
Others:
Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly
Studio:
Altitude Film Distribution
Genres:
British Films, Drama
Countries:
UK
BBFC:
Release Date:
21/08/2017
Run Time:
85 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
21/08/2017
Run Time:
89 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B

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Reviews (11) of Lady Macbeth

A quiet whirlwind - Lady Macbeth review by MB

Spoiler Alert
26/08/2017

This is a quiet and unhurried film, but the important thing is the mood it sets, the weight of oppression, and the emotional impact into this cossetted world made by Katherine, which is like a whirlwind. There's no Lady Macbeth as Shakespeare wrote her, but imagine that character with all her desire and amorality dumped into a young nineteenth century girl who's sold into a loveless marriage - what would she do? Accept her unhappy lot and play the part of a dutiful wife, willingly confining herself inside the mausoleum of a house and waiting for.... something? Not likely, right, and that's exactly where this story goes.

It's very compelling and as Katherine becomes more soaked in Macbethian blood increasingly grotesque. It's also shot rather beautifully, and in Florence Pugh it appears to know that it's found a future star.

5 out of 6 members found this review helpful.

Overrated - Lady Macbeth review by JK

Spoiler Alert
09/09/2017

Another critical success turns out to be a miserable and illogical waste of time. The suspension of disbelief required to swallow this story is akin to a superhero romp, but without the potential for entertainment. I don't mind slow paced movies but am bored of misery fests.

4 out of 7 members found this review helpful.

Extraordinary, painful and beautiful - Lady Macbeth review by GC

Spoiler Alert
12/09/2017

Probably closer to life than any television costume drama this film reworks the Lady Macbeth of Mtsensnk story and places it in the rural northwest. A young woman, married off in an arrangement of convenience to an older, unloving and bullying husband. He only other relationships are with a virtually mute maid and her husband's father, equally foul and bullying. She slowly begins a Chatterly-esue relationship with an agricultural worker that leads to a miserable, frightening series of events.

4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Lady Macbeth review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

Lady Macbeth is a period piece that is sadly more relevant today than that of its novella source from the 1800s. There’s hatred within the picture that brews and bubbles up throughout, only to be locked into a quiet box of uneasy contentment by the end. It’s a chilling film for how its stuffy nature of maintaining a certain sense of dignity and dominance results in a drama of troubling romances and even more troubling murder. It’s this unflinching aspect of the dishonest and disgraceful that makes the film exceptionally chilling.

Katherine (Florence Pugh) is trapped in a loveless marriage to a richer, older man, Alexander, on his expensive rural English estate. Her days are spent in quiet, going through the long process of getting dressed, only to attend dinner parties where she is forbidden to talk to anyone. When night falls, she is expected to undress so that Alexander can merely look at her and go to sleep. There is no romance presence; the only dignity maintained through shut lips and unquestioning obedience. Any speaking out of line and Katherine will be disciplined, the kind she is familiar with when she can’t bear children.

It’s only natural that she could only take so much of this before she snaps. She releases her sexual tension on Sebastian, one of the stable hands. It’s partially out of boredom but also out of rebellion, watching how the men of the stables seem to have all the fun with her maid Anna while she remains locked in the house like a treasure gathering dust. Sex follows because there’s nothing else to do when life becomes so tiresome that even discipline behind closed doors is so common that Katherine hardly bats an eye.

Sexual release quickly turns into violence in the form of poison, beatings, and suffocation. Katherine and Sebastian want their love to survive, but in order to do that within such a strict and stuffy society, they have to be brutally vicious. This means that many murders must be committed and covered up for the sake of maintaining their romance. There’s no happy ending here. Sure, Boris and Alexander will be toppled for the toxic patriarchy they enforce, but at what cost? Katherine’s crusade for freedom and power becomes so bloody that she’s blinded more by what she has to do than what she is actually doing. She doesn’t see herself killing a kid but burying the evidence that threatens her very existence.

Lady Macbeth offers no easy answers to how a woman can assert herself in such a confining and spiritually draining experience. The film ends with quiet once more but a quiet that is still wrapped in beatings, murders, and distrust, with Katherine having thrown so many under the bus to maintain her own power. And in that quiet is an eerie contemplation of how casual dirty deeds can seem when trying to preserve yourself. This makes the film far more than just a female revenge picture but a very disturbing portrait of how the vitriol drenched upon victims becomes contagious, spilling into nastier deeds devoid of empathy. It’s this mood and theme that easily makes Lady Macbeth one of the period pieces of the decade.

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