2017 | 89 minutes | Rated R
Megan Burbank was not a fan
of Lady Macbeth
, writing about the main character (played by Florence Pugh): "Katherine is a cipher, a flatly evil Ted Bundy in a hoopskirt. I like my sinister jerks complicated
, in the grand tradition of the original Lady Macbeth or Austen’s scheming society ladies—foremothers to unsettlingly likable creeps like Amy Dunne, Claire Underwood, and Cersei Lannister. Sorry, Lady Macbeth
. I’m sticking with them."
Maia Silber at the Washington Post
, however, thought that Pugh's portrayal was brilliant: "This image, this woman, is familiar. She is Catherine Earnshaw of Wuthering Heights
, swearing 'I am Heathcliff.' She is Emma Bovary and Lady Chatterley: passionate and stifled. And, of course, she’s Lady Macbeth, asking the spirits to turn her breast milk into poison. (Although there are other parallels with Macbeth
, the film is not, strictly speaking, an adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy.) Oldroyd’s brilliance (and Pugh’s) is to probe this age-old archetype — the Gothic antiheroine, the adulteress — and find pathos and cruelty. It’s also to uncover the complex web of hierarchies — of race and class, as well as gender — that ensnare and empower her."
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