Lady Macbeth: Film review.


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.

The enigmatic Mrs McKay.


You may not yet have stumbled upon my selfless contribution to society that is known as “Is This Yours?”.  It’s a blog that posts the things I find on my perambulations, mainly around South Queensferry, but also in Big Edinburgh and beyond.

It’s selfless in that I see it as a service whereby lost shoes, hats, scarves, underwear, dog tags, combs, toothbrushes, babies dummies, bows, pencil cases, nautical accoutrements and more – much, much more – can be reconciled with their owners.

But this one’s a strange one.

Mrs McKay.

That’s it.

No Christian name, no middle name.

Just plain old Mrs McKay.

Is she a character from a downbeat Dickens novel?  One of his latter creations where the creativity had run out in his nomenclature?

A private detective, perhaps?

Why no Christian name?  Not even an initial.

What has she to hide?

Why the obfuscatory nature of her financial transactions.

And why was it found watched up on Dalmeny Beach?

Is Mrs McKay no more?

Is she an ex-spy?

Are her decomposing remains lying in wait in a crab-infested rockpool somewhere in East Lothian, or worse, Fife?

If anyone can shed some light on this mystery I would be indebted.

In the meantime, go see if I’ve found anything of yours at Is This Yours?.


This one’s gonna run and run but I liked my mate Doug Cook’s classy Meme on the subject.

Recalls the breakdown of the Westworld robots who are trained to say the same thing every time until they get a mind of their own.

Remember, May was anti-Brexit.