When a young girl finds herself in a predicament where she is not able to choose how or when she becomes a woman...resentment and revenge are bound to follow.
The first few moments of this film, you know you better buckle up for a very dark, complicated, period piece ride. You also know that a very strong statement is about to be made regarding the treatment of women as objects instead of human beings.
Pugh says that this transformation was the reason she was so attracted to the script. "We see an innocent girl turn into someone capable of doing monstrous things - even though she's doing wrong, you still want her to succeed and you feel sympathetic toward her."
Florence Pugh as Katherine is completely off her rocker and will literally take out anyone who gets in her way. She throws her head mistress and lover under the bus to save her own ass. However, you gotta give it to her, she is very crafty in doing so...completely shattering the stereotype that women are weak and meek. Not Miss Katherine!!! She will literally anialate you with every fiber of her being. She's almost like a period piece version of The Bad Seed meets Fatal Attraction.
On casting Florence Pugh as Katherine, Director Williams Oldroyd says, "...straight away it was clear we'd found someone with the right spirit for Katherine. Florence gives an incredibly strong and confident performance - she has a great instinct and very good technique."
Newcomer, singer-songwriter Cosmo Jarvis makes an impressive screen debut as Sebastian. His combination of an almost mysterious and dirty sex-appeal makes Sebastian spell-binding to watch. You can't wait to see what he'll do next. Jarvis was thrilled about this groundbreaking role, "It's not often you get opportunities for such rich, rounded characters at this stage in. your career...I was interested in the power dynamics between the characters - Sebastian is like a pet. He's a flawed and messy character."
As much as you can't take your eyes off of Jarvis and Pugh, the actor with the most impressive chops is Naomi Ackie, as Katherine's servant Anna. She carries a huge amount of emotional baggage without uttering a word and is very reminiscent of a young Alfre Woodard earlier in her career...which is saying a lot!!!
Being a huge lover of period pieces going back to Jane Austin and Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Anna and Sebastian were cast as people of color who serve as protagonists for our heroine.
I think it's safe to say that we will be hearing a lot about these three as awards season begins to unfold.
Make no mistake about it, Lady Macbeth is a very disturbing film that will hit every nerve you have about some of society's most sensitive subjects. But, It will also leave you asking yourself - what would you do?
Produced by Roadside Attractions and Sixty Six Pictures, Lady MacBeth can be seen in theaters now. Trust me, you will never see this one coming.