It’s a rare movie that stars an actress you have never heard of or seen before and half way through the film you realize you have become a huge fan. That definitely was the case for me with Florence Pugh who plays Katherine in “Lady Macbeth.” This young actress (she is now only 21) is able to convey a thousand words, just with a look. She is a more gifted performer than most actresses twice her age. Pugh just commands the screen; you literally cannot look away. If I was a betting man, I would say there are definitely Academy Awards (yes plural) in her future!
This is not Shakespeare’s “Lady Macbeth,” although Florence gives her character many of the ambitions that Shakespeare’s “Lady Macbeth” had. As the movie starts out we see Katherine, a beautiful young lady, being married off (for land) by her dad to a man 20 years her senior, Alexander. Immediately we feel sympathy for Katherine, and the sympathy grows when we are shown that she is treated like a property by both her new husband, who refuses to be intimate with her, and her father in law, who clearly has anger issues.
Shortly after her marriage, Alexander is sent out of town to handle an emergency. Now that Katherine is not being monitored she can go outside and explore the land. Almost immediately she attracts the attention of cocky Sebastian (played by the very sexy Cosmos Jarvis), one of her husband’s servants that works the land. It doesn’t take long for them to start an affair that is steamier than your eyeglasses could ever get! This affair unleashes something in Katherine, and the young innocent girl we saw in the beginning of the movie, now becomes a woman that takes control of her life. She will no longer be told what to do or how to live her life.
How far will Katherine go down the proverbial dark path? Since I don’t want to give away the plot, you will have to watch the movie to find out.
I cannot end this article without also giving kudos to the fantastic performances turned in by Cosmos Jarvis (Sebastian), Naomi Ackie (Anna the maid), Paul Hilton (Alexander) and Christopher Fairbanks (Boris the father in law).
Many people will see the movie and think Katherine unleashed an evil side to her, but I think she will go to any lengths to protect the ones she loves. And after all, isn’t that maternal?
“Lady Macbeth,” from Roadside Attractions, opens Friday, July 28 in South Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach