Rural England, 1865. Katherine(Florence Pugh) 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 (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. Based on the novella Lady Macbeth of Mtsenk this film examines not just lust of the flesh but also the lust for power that lives deep within.
Set deep in the English northern countryside and with an air of Wuthering Heights Florence Pugh gives a wonderfully dark performance as Katherine. Her journey from object of suffering to maniacal manipulator is one of the best performances I've seen in recent years. Every bit as manipulative and power hungry Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth, Pugh is dark, brooding and determined to avenge the circumstance she finds herself in.
Unloved and deemed a surplus byproduct of a land deal she receives no love from her husband and seeks comfort and passionate encounters with Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis) who becomes embroiled in circumstances that very quickly spiral outside of his control. The pursuit of power and prestige become Katherine's true object of desire and she will do anything to achieve them.
The lesson from Lady Macbeth is clear, the desire for power and privilege is something that many lust after but it can never be fully achieved as there is always a little more power to seek.
Lady Macbeth is now streaming on Amazon Video.