I’m not familiar with the Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk short story by Nikolai Neskov (not to be confused with Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare) which he wrote as a novella in 1865, although it is inspired by the famous play.
The book inspired Shostakovich to write an opera based on it.
Now we have a British film that feels incredibly French (incredibly Michael Haneke, who I think is actually Austrian) to add to its cannon.
It features a career defining performance by Florence Pugh in the title role; although the men are magnificent too (most notably Christopher fairbanks as the intolerant Father in Law).
If you like Christopher Fairbanks through his Guardians of the Galaxy fame this is not the movie for you as it moves at glacial pace with very little dialogue, virtually no music and a LOT of fixed frames where you are invited to enjoy the cinematography in its most bleak and spartan Northernness.
“It’s grim up north” might have been the poster slogan for this movie because, set as it is near the North East of England’s colliery land, albeit on the moors (North Yorkshire I’d suggest), it is most certainly grim.
The story is murderously grim too and I’d expect this BBC Films production to be in the running when next year’s BAFTA’s are handed out with Florence Pugh a shoe in for best female actor.
Slow but sublime with excellent direction from William Oldroyd.