Lady Macbeth

Watched this spare & unsparing psychological costume drama in entirely the wrong season but with the entirely right person: my dear friend Emily, of exactly the artistic temperament to holler along with me from minute one to minute 90.

Here is your requisite explainer that Lady Macbeth is not about the Shakespearean antiheroine, but another woman in her troubling thematic line. Hers and maybe Highsmith’s, as the movie plays out like a chilly, murdery Ripley story set in a remote north English manor in the mid-1800s, with this particular enigmatically brutal protagonist a young woman just sold off into marriage to a wealthy, sallow man who hates her. She hates him too. There are approximately five and a half other characters in the play and four of them are people of color, because why just make a rare minimalist Victorian when you could also be making an incredible indictment of white feminism? I guess if you don’t want to be unusual and interesting!

Other things Emily and I yelled about:

– Florence Pugh, who is going to be so famous. Watching her performance in this is like being treated to something.
– How you can hear the sound of everything. The creaking of floorboards, the creaking of her dresses. This movie sounded like it was made in the ‘70s, in a cool way.
– That inside the house the camera never moved in a shot, like they’d just set it up to frame a picture and the actors would enter and leave it as they chose.
– But whenever she went OUTside, the camera broke free to track with her in a loose handheld. The wildness of the heath and whatever, good shit.
– This one very visually unusual cat we decided represented the undomesticated aspects of Katherine’s character, particularly when it jumped up on a table after she [redacted redacted mushrooms redacted]
– [mushrooms redacted]
– The part where a character literally goes redacted [!!]
– Power structures

Lady Macbeth is a striking, dialogue-light, tone poem sort of movie in which nothing is wasted, particularly your time. Come Holler With Us.

3 thoughts on “Lady Macbeth

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