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In spite of the inconvenient attempt to read the subtitles and follow the events, I thoroghly enjoyed the movie. I had already watched the previous movie, "Lady Chatterley's Lover" featuring Sylvia Kristel. I really enjoed "Lady Chatterley" more than I did the previous production. Lady Chatterley was a tender love if carnal story.
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106 of 108 people found the following review helpful
Sense and Sensuality: DH Lawrence's Masterpiece Glows in the Hands of the French!Dec 6 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
DH Lawrence's novels may be tough to translate to the screen, so much of his writing is dependent on the words on the page as they form images of extraordinary beauty and sensuality. His novels are quintessentially British and reflect on the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization, confronting issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, sexuality, and human instinct. During his lifetime he was even labeled a pornographer, but that was then and now is now, and under the gifted guidance of director/writer (with Roger Bohbot and Pierre Trividic) Pascale Ferran, Lawrence's exquisite tale of sexual awakening has found what for this viewer is the finest transition of the novel to the screen.
The place is England after WW I and Sir Clifford Chatterley (Hippolyte Girardot) is the paraplegic wealthy husband of Constance/Lady Chatterley (a radiant Marina Hands). Quite apropos for the era, Constance tends to her impotent husband, does needlepoint, and takes walks to while away her boredom. On one of her walks she encounters the gamekeeper Parkin (Jean-Louis Coullo'ch), seeing a partially nude man for the first time in her life. The impact awakens her somnolent sexuality and she manages to visit Parkin daily, gradually allowing her lust to unfold. Parkin is 'below her class' but is a masculine, sensuous embodiment of everything Constance has never experienced. They slowly bond and both of them become passionately in love, finding lovemaking in Parkin's hut, in the woods, in the rain - wherever they encounter. Constance wants to have a baby and convinces Clifford that she can become impregnated and the resulting child would be 'Clifford's' by pact. Constance travels to London, the Riviera, and other ports, only to return home believing that Parkin has reclaimed his ex-wife. But there are many surprises that greet her and the manner in which the story resolves (in Ferran's hands) leaves us unsure of the future.
The film is captured amidst the beauties of the natural world - flowers, trees, springs, brooks - and these aspects of the natural world are an influential part of Constance's sexual awakening. Yes, there are scenes of complete nudity and love making but they are photographed so well by Julian Hirsch that they become an integral part of the story. The musical score by Béatrice Thiriet finds the right quality of elegance and sensuality. If there is a problem with this nearly three-hour film it is in the editing by Yann Dedet and Mathilde Muyard that takes liberties with scene transitions that prove disruptive.
But it would be hard to imagine two actors who could match the subtlety and sexual tension that Marina Hands and Jean-Louis Coullo'ch to this film. It is breathtakingly beautiful to experience DH Lawrence's story in the hands of the French crew and cast. Grady Harp, December 07
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Fernan's LADY CHATTERLEYOct. 8 2007
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Pascale Ferran's LADY CHATTERLEY is an exquisitely wrought film. The themes of the Lawrence novel frame the film, but Ferran seems to have put together her own very contemporary treatment despite the literary and time period setting. The photography is breathtaking and is integral to my characterization of the film as "exquisitely wrought." The first part of the film moves very, very slowly with almost no dialogue as the luxurious expanses of the country landscape are defined along with the formal and aristocratic settings of the Wragby estate. The obsession, both photographically and from a time duration standpoint, with the landscape serves a significant two-fold purpose---establishing Nature as a primary element in this world and reinforcing the beauty/sensuality of that Nature. That becomes a critical underpinning to the orchestration to the unfolding of the very sensual and sexual relationship of Constance and the Gamekeeper Parkin. If there was a weakness in the film, it would be the concluding section of the film which seemed more simply a patchwork of ideas and actions and not the carefully orchestrated ever increasingly complex visual and thematic development of the first half to two-thirds. However, the ending left everything up in the air as concerns the future of their relationship which I thought was a masterful stroke. There was no smug Hollywood resolution in either direction nor did Ferran give it a particularly French "affaire de passion" resolution. The ending seemed very realistic and "now" and in that sense probably departs from Lawrence in the most dramatic way. This is a must see film!
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Lady ChatterleySept. 29 2007
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A very beautiful interpretation, with a slow, emotionally honest exposition. Makes one feel as though looking at Lawrence's novel quite afresh, without all its encrusted history of sweaty-palm controversies. It is situated very convincingly in its era (1920s), at a point of openiing up against the sexual restrictions of its class, society and period. It shows the slow discovery of the possibilities of reaching for sexual passion and physical satisfaction - especially for the woman (after all, the title of the movie is: "Lady Chatterley", without the "lover" of the book.). This is done without any prudish voyeuristic clichés, or romanticized imageries, yet, at the same time, fully engaging with all the power of sex and sensuality, and not avoiding looking at man's and woman's nudity. The acting is wonderfully restrained and subtle, mostly through looks, gestures, and the characters' postures and movements.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Breathtaking adaptationApril 25 2009
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Though my favorite adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley's Lover" is the 1992 version with Joely Richardson and Sean Bean playing the lead roles, this 2006 French adaptation is well-done too. I just felt that in adapting it in French, the finer nuances of D.H. Lawrence's original English was lost. The movie is also rather long, clocking in at almost three hours [the first hour was extremely slow-moving] and could have done with some editing.
Anyway, in this adaptation, the director Pascale Ferran has adopted an earlier, less scandalous version of Lawrence's work as her source, focusing instead on sex as a catalyst that brings about major changes in the two leads. Lady Constance Chatterley [Marina Hands who went on to star in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly] is an oppressed young wife whose WW I vet and crippled husband, Clifford [Hippolyte Girardot] is unable to fulfill his wife's physical or emotional needs. He moves them to his country estate, Wragby where Constance feels lost and bored. Things change when Constance comes upon the half exposed [waist up] gamekeeper Oliver Parkin [Jean-Louis Coulloc'h] and fascinated, she contrives situations where the pair meet and eventually begin an affair. The sex scenes are very sensual, focusing not so much on the pure gyrations of the act but also on the facial expressions on the two people involved. Both actors really get into their roles, and their vivid facial expressions, especially Marina Hands', convey not just pleasure, but also the dawning realization of the power of sex. There are about six sex scenes in this movie, and there is a sort of chronological development in the pair's affair that mirrors the progression of their feelings for each other - from the first almost clumsy and brief encounter to the development of closeness and eventually love.
Marina Hands plays her role with consummate skill, from an almost naive and relatively inexperienced young woman to one who experiences a thoroughly sensual awakening and a liberation of senses. Jean-Louis Coulloc'h as the gamekeeper Parkin is credible as the rough yet gentle gamekeeper who is aware of the discrepancies in class between him and the lady of the house, yet loves with his body and soul.
Beautifully filmed, "Lady Chatterley" mesmerizes with its in-depth characterizations and its sensual portrayal of a passionate love story that crosses the lines of class and rules of society.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Senses awakeningFeb. 23 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
Excelent adaptation on the classic "Lady Chatteley's Lover". A new take on the famous romance(infamous at the time of its launching), with a focus on a sensual awakening of the heroine compatible with her emotional maturing, as opposed to previous versions, which highlighted a "sexual" awakening by itself, without contextualizing it...The photography is beautiful and although it may seem slow in some passages, I think that was the director's intention, as to show that the internal emotional evolution process Lady Chatterley's is experimenting takes time to happen... Also to note that it all starts during the Fall and ends in a Summer, as stages of the "soul's" maturity, rippening. Very sensible too in picturing the highly stratified English social system.... The end is not identical to that of the namesake book, but more in sync, maybe, with contemporary times, which curiously, rends it "timeless", as it leaves the two soulmates more flexible to whatever the future will bring them individually but conscient and willing to preserve regardless of a format the deep bond they forged together! Worth watching...