TIFF 2016 Review: Lady Macbeth
A masterpiece of formalism, William Oldroyd’s Lady Macbeth feels both modern and a throwback at the same time. Perhaps the reason for being both in and out of eras is the lead performance by actress Florence Pugh. The actress feels like a star in the making, but the making may have already occurred in Oldroyd’s adaptation of a work that is not even actually about Macbeth at all.
The film’s title refers to the unfeeling aspect of its lead character, (meaning that essentially she is not a mother figure), and Pugh projects a demeanour of unfeeling without losing sympathy for her, (she’s also criminally imhumane, but this information seems almost beside the point). The focus stays on her in every scene in which she is featured, making the supporting characters feel very much just that: supporting.
This is a Platform film of the highest order, and while the film feels like a film festival gem, it will hopefully get seen by a wide audience and again, hopefully most certainly in a large, far-projecting theatrical environment.