Stars: Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, Naomi Ackie, Christopher Fairbank, Bill Fellows, Golda Rosheuvel, Anton Palmer, Rebecca Manley, Ian Conningham.
Director: William Oldroyd
Screenplay: Alice Birch
What can you hide behind a pretty face, hide behind assumption of place, within the walls of era society. Lady MacBeth (2017) shows all the things we like to hide; adultery, lust, women's independence, servants, abuse, murder. It is hidden within the framework of its own existence but it is presented to us so matter of factly, with no presence softening its reality.
A beautiful film that doesn't guide you but forces you along its path. Usually that is no good in a film, but the sharp corners allow for greater immersion and thought. You are never asked to empathise with Katherine (Florence Pugh) though you assume to in the beginning. However as she is an insanely unreliable protagonist you are forced into the part of voyeur; there is no in with her and so you must simply watch her actions.
Pugh is so enticing to watch and so are the other players, Cosmo Jarvis (as Sebastian) and Naomi Ackie (as Anne) work wonders with Pugh to form such intriguing relationships. Anne is Katherine's handmaid and it is through her eyes that we can see the queerness of Katherine. She cannot place her and Anne's questions are answered through her lady's actions. Sebastian and Katherine's relationship is also strange, though it holds true passion it starts and ends with severe unease.
The more I think of Lady MacBeth the greater power it holds. Oldroyd has made a film that can sit with you for a while, letting it fester and mature in your brain.