Director: William Oldroyd Starring: Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Naomi Ackie, Christopher Fairbank, Paul Hilton Running Time: 89 minutes
It can tend to get a bit grim in the English countryside. The foggy fields suggest a certain emptiness, a setting where taciturn people keep secrets from each other until either their passions suddenly ignite or they Eleanor Rigby themselves to quiet, dignified, sad demises. Take the similarly cheer-resistant world of Russian literature and place it in that setting and you’re unlikely to end up with the feel good hit of the summer. But as evidenced by Alice Birch and William Oldroyd’s adaptation of Nikolai Leskov’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk District, what you do end up with is a captivatingly twisted take on English costume drama that you can’t take your eyes away from.