Lady Macbeth (2016)

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Lady Macbeth (2016) poster

Date Created: 29/01/2019
Date Modified: 29/01/2019
Genre: |
Runtime: 89 min -
Lady Macbeth is a 2016 British drama film directed by William Oldroyd and written by Alice Birch, based on the short story Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Nikolai Leskov, though the film's ending deviates significantly from the source text. It stars Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, Naomi Ackie and Christopher Fairbank. The plot follows a young woman who is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 10 September 2016, and was released in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2017 by Altitude Film Distribution and in the United States on 14 July 2017 by Roadside Attractions. It received positive reviews and has grossed nearly $4 million worldwide.
Box office: $3.9 million
Plot: In 1865, a young woman named Katherine is in a loveless marriage to an older man, Alexander. They live at the estate of Alexander's father, Boris, in rural England. Katherine is forced to maintain a strict schedule and prevented from leaving the house. Boris scolds her for not giving Alexander a son, but Alexander's sexual interest in his wife seems to be limited to watching her naked body. One day, both Boris and Alexander have to leave the estate for separate business matters, leaving Katherine alone with the housemaid, Anna. For the first time in memory, she is free to explore the area to alleviate her boredom. Katherine soon discovers Anna being suspended from the ceiling of an outhouse by the men who work on the land. She is attracted to one of them, Sebastian, and the next day sets herself up to meet him. When Sebastian comes to the house to visit Katherine, they begin an affair. Anna informs the local priest, who attempts to warn Katherine, but she sends him away. When Boris returns home, he is informed of the affair, beats Sebastian and locks him in a stable, and threatens Katherine when she demands his release. Katherine poisons his food, and calmly makes small talk with Anna as he chokes to death in the next room. Anna is terrified into muteness, and Boris is buried without suspicion. Katherine takes over the estate, and she and Sebastian continue their affair openly. One night, while they are asleep in Katherine's marital bed, she awakes to realise that Alexander has returned home. After he reveals that he is aware of the infidelity, Katherine summons Sebastian and they start to have sex in front of him. A fight ensues, during which Katherine kills Alexander. The couple bury Alexander's body in the woods and kill his horse. They are not directly accused of the murder, and Sebastian begins to dress and behave as the lord of the manor himself. A woman arrives at the estate with a young boy named Teddy, who she claims is the product of an affair between Alexander and her daughter. Katherine reluctantly shelters the pair. Sebastian, angry at the change in living arrangements, returns to the outhouse. Katherine realises she is pregnant, but is unable to inform Sebastian. She also begins to bond with Teddy. When Teddy disappears after Katherine scolds him, Sebastian finds the boy sitting over a waterfall and rescues him. When he returns Teddy to the house, he admits that he considered pushing him. Katherine dissuades Sebastian from leaving, promising to do anything he wants in return. While Teddy's grandmother is asleep, the couple use the opportunity to smother Teddy. Sebastian hides in the woods while Katherine claims that Teddy died in his sleep. The village doctor is skeptical of the story, but while the issue is being discussed, a guilt-ridden Sebastian returns from the woods and confesses everything. Katherine calmly turns Sebastian's confession back on him, and accuses him of committing all the murders with Anna. Her word is taken over his, especially when Anna remains mute. As Sebastian and Anna are taken away by the police, Katherine remains alone in the house with her unborn child.
Lady Macbeth
Lady Macbeth (film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWilliam Oldroyd
Produced byFodhla Cronin O'Reilly
Screenplay byAlice Birch
Based onLady Macbeth of the Mtsensk Districtby Nikolai Leskov
  • Florence Pugh
  • Cosmo Jarvis
  • Paul Hilton
  • Naomi Ackie
  • Christopher Fairbank
Music byDan Jones
CinematographyAri Wegner
Edited byNick Emerson
  • BBC Films
  • British Film Institute
  • Creative England
  • iFeatures
  • Protagonist Pictures
  • Sixty Six Pictures
Distributed byAltitude Film Distribution
Release date
  • 10 September 2016 (2016-09-10) (TIFF)
  • 28 April 2017 (2017-04-28) (United Kingdom)
Running time
89 minutes[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office$3.9 million[3]