Lady Chatterley (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/08/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 168 mins

Engaging, strikingly photographed and packing a powerful emotional punch, Lady Chatterley is an award winning drama with terrific performances from its three leads.

What's it all about?
Based on the second version of D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover (he wrote three – this one was published as John Thomas and Lady Jane), Pascale Ferran's multiple award winning Lady Chatterley stars Marina Hands as Lady Constance Chatterley, who's growing frustrated in her 1920s country house, especially since her husband Clifford (Hippolyte Giradot) has been confined to a wheelchair (read: impotent) following an injury sustained during the war.

It isn't long before Constance notices Parkin (Jean-Louis Culloc'h), the family gamekeeper who just happens to be a fine figure of a man. A tentative conversation soon leads to a full-blown affair, with both parties surprised by the depth of their feelings for one another.

The Good
The performances are extremely good: Hands in particular gets more and more radiant as the film progresses and all three characters use body language and expression to great effect, as there's very little dialogue throughout (at one point, someone actually says, What's the point of talking?). The sex scenes are impressively handled too, with each successive scene becoming progressively more intimate.

The film is beautifully shot, courtesy of Julien Hirsch's lush cinematography, and Pascale Ferran makes great use of the verdant landscapes. There are also some genuinely stunning sequences, such as the scene where Constance and Parkin both run around naked in the pouring rain – you feel Lawrence would have approved.

The Bad
The film has been cut down from a four hour TV mini-series, but at nearly three hours long it frequently feels very slow and could probably have stood to lose another hour or so.

Worth seeing?
In short, Lady Chatterley is an engaging, enjoyable and ultimately emotionally rewarding drama that deserves to be seen, despite its arse-punishing running time.

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Content updated: 23/10/2017 08:55

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