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Parents' Guide to

Lady Macbeth

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Intense British period drama has sex, violence, language.

Movie R 2017 89 minutes
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Kids say (2 ):

In her second ever feature role, Pugh gives a captivating performance that shows the kind of screen presence and technical mastery of a far more experienced actor. As Katherine, she radiates an inner power at odds with her seemingly powerless position -- an air of dignity and control that moves from defiance to cold-blooded malevolence as Lady Macbeth progresses. First-time director William Oldroyd's sense of visual storytelling is dripping in tension. The stark, muted interiors, repetition of shots, and the use of stillness and silence create a pressure cooker of repression and frustration that serves as a stark contrast to the wild, unrefined nature of the surrounding landscape and the unfiltered masculinity of Cosmo Jarvis's Sebastian.

Though technically a period drama, the movie toys with the genre and turns it on its head, with Oldroyd describing it as "Wuthering Heights meets Kill Bill." It has more in common with a modern revenge drama than a Victorian romance, yet the tension between the two is what ultimately creates its unique edge. A powerful, at times brutal, portrayal of a woman driven to extremes in search of autonomy.

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