Director: William Oldroyd
Cast: Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Naomi Ackie, Christopher Fairbank, Bill Fellows
Country of Origin: UK 2016 89 mins. (15)
Released by Altitude
Rural Northumberland, 1865, Katherine (Florence Pugh), sold by her father into an arranged, loveless, unconsummated marriage with Alexander (Paul Hilton) whose father colliery magnate Boris (Christopher Fairbank) sees her as a commodity to fulfill her wifely duties. With her husband and father-in-law away South, Katherine tastes freedom and embarks on an intense and all consuming full-on sexual relationship with stable man Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis), flaunting her new found sexual freedom as she's closely observed by her maid Anna (Naomi Ackie) who becomes a target for Katherine's erratic and abusive behaviour. Unwilling to loose her new found freedom, and with Sebastian a willing accomplice, Katherine, emboldened and self-possessed descends from Victorian bride to a Greek tragedy anti-heroine.
Made on a limited budget, William Oldroyd's debut feature is a remarkable achievement and Florence Pugh is top of the form, terrific, ruthless, self-possessed and determined to trawl the depths whatever to retain her position. Adapted by screenwriter Alice Birch from Nikolai Lreskov's novel 'Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk,' cinematograper Ari Wegner's tight compositions offer a fitting visual austerity for this 'Lady Macbeth.'