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Lady Chatterley

Lady Chatterley

Director:Pascale Ferran
Cast:Hippolyte Girardot, Marina Hands, Jean-Louis Coullo'ch
Release Date:2007
Genre:Drama, Foreign

By Bret McCabe | Posted 8/15/2007

Female French director Pascale Ferran turns to D.H. Lawrence's second published version of his at-the-time scandalous Lady Chatterley's Lover and hones in on its less pedantic politics and more sensuous vibe. Think of it as Lawrence's naturalist riff and you'll get a sense of the serene, almost environmental mood permeating Ferran's Lady Chatterley. The story remains the same: upper-class gentleman Clifford Chatterley (Hippolyte Girardot) was wounded in WWI, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Largely ignored and left to her own devices, his wife, Constance (The Barbarian Invasions' Marina Hands), finds emotional and physical solace in her husband's gamekeeper Parkin (Jean-Louis Coullo'ch). Ferran's patient storytelling allows the love affair to feel like an almost organic inevitability, as much a product of the comfortably verdant countryside where Constance and Parkin first meet and carry on their trysts as it is of human needs. It makes for a refreshingly adult drama that locates desire in more than superficial beauty, but it does take its time: Lady Chatterley is equally interested in a storm's sights, sounds, and feel--in one of the movie's most visually and thematically well-matched moments--but it does mean that you start to notice its 168-minute length. If nothing else, Lady Chatterley totally rescues Lawrence from the superficial, sentimental, and ludicrous 1981 adaptation starring Emmanuelle's Sylvia Kristel.

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