HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: Strong Performance Makes ‘Lady Macbeth’ a Cogent Character Study

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO - Separating a performance from the rest of the film is usually an easy task. One may be stronger than the other, or vice versa, but either way, they can be judged individually and as a whole. “Lady Macbeth” proves to be that rare character study where a single performance (from breakout actress Florence Pugh) not only makes the film but essentially is the film.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Alice Birch adapts Nikolai Leskov’s novel of the same name but adds a new perspective to the story. Birch doesn’t shy away from showing the unsympathetic darkness inside of Katherine but instead counters it by showing scenes of happiness and giving reasons for her actions. The story is so compellingly told that most of the audience will side with Katherine and be willing to overlook all of her misdeeds up until the last one. Like the film’s namesake, Katherine’s ambition drives her to commit murderous acts in order to get her way. Unlike the Shakespearean character, Katherine’s goals start off as more noble and what most of us would now consider basic human rights. It makes you ask yourself: “How far would you go to get control of your life back?”

This period piece highlights themes that end up transforming our Lady Macbeth from the Shakespearean, status-hungry enabler into a progressive femme fatale freedom fighter. Katherine was part of a system at a time where women were regarded as property, regularly sold to whoever was willing to pay. This form of slavery is one of the cornerstones of the story, and the biggest thing that makes Katherine a character that deserves our sympathy at the beginning. Being controlled and oppressed by almost every man in her life, she reacts like any other caged animal, except her ferocity is well hidden behind her meek fasçade and her actions are much more calculated than feral.

“Lady Macbeth” opened everywhere on July 21st. Featuring Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, Naomi Ackie, Christopher Fairbank and Golda Rosheuvel. Screenplay by Alice Birch. Directed by William Oldroyd. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “War for the Planet of the Apes”

ladym1
There’s more than meets the eye in ‘Lady Macbeth’
Photo credit: BBC Films

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “War for the Planet of the Apes”

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
tracker