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Published On: Tue, Aug 1st, 2017

Florence Pugh will amaze and disturb audiences in ‘Lady MacBeth’

Just hearing the name MacBeth and most everyone thinks of Shakespeare. Inspired by the plot of murderous woman the famous playwright created in MacBeth, the 1865 novella by Nikolai Leskov, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, now lends itself to a theatrical adaptation and the results showcases an amazing young talent in Florence Pugh.

Moving away from Russia and set in rural England, 1865. Katherine (Pugh) is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age, and his cold, unforgiving family. The first chapter sets up the lifelessness created by the situation and how it presses the leading lady against some of the worst moments in history: oppression of women and minorities.

The Lady embarks on a passionate affair with a young worker (Cosmo Jarvis) on her husband’s estate, a force is unleashed inside her so powerful that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants and the film turns very dark.

It is no spoiler to say that the first murder seems like an appetizer to the black widow, fueling her drive and self-centerness. Her egocentric world is presented perfectly by director William Oldroyd as the audience will feel empathy for the women drifting deeper and deeper into a world of evil.

Originally presented at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, Lady MacBeth will finally get a theatrical release. Sadly Roadside is dropping the film into a fever-pitched season of summer films, pitting the drama against Dunkirk, Atomic Blonde and even Spider-Man: Homecoming — all still entertaining as the summer film season comes to an end.

Pugh is truly mesmerizing, delivering an Oscar worthy performance, subtle below the surface with her evolving emotions – authentic and never forced. Screenwriter Alice Birch stay largely faithful to the novel’s plot and characters, but deviates at then ending with a cynical twist which should make us angry, but actually makes us thirst for “what happens next.”

The film has a “micro budget” which impairs a few scenes and the filmmaker is trapped, unable to bring us any large scale shots of the countryside. A few of the subplots are contrived and somewhat outdated concepts that are difficult to even grasp by our 21st century sensibilities.

No matter how you slice it though, Pugh has made a big splash and should land on the radar screen of Hollywood’s producer, so expect her name to pop up again very soon.

Lady MacBeth earns 4 1/2 stars out of 5 stars.

Period piece films are not for everyone and the summer placement is like a death nail for any box office success. Keep the film on your radar screen, if anything, just to witness a grand performance.

 

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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