Lady Chatterley

Director Pascale Ferran, co-writing with Roger Bohbot, adapts the penultimate version of D. H. Lawrence’s scandalizing novel. When her aristocrat husband (Hippolyte Girardo) returns from the first World War half paralyzed and increasingly distant, the eponymous heroine (Marina Hands) finds, uh, solace elsewhere. Like, for instance, in the estate’s bulky, vaguely Brando-ish gamekeeper (Jean-Louis Coulloc’h). Played without the taut pacing or post-modern archness you might expect, Ferran’s sensitive presentation is tolerably overlong: She’s content to let the lovers explore each other and their impossibly fecund forest for nearly three hours, which both allows for erotic frankness and approximates the feeling of having curled up with a good novel. Still, it might have seemed fresher had not so many other French films so lucidly explored similar territory before. Which of course serves again to remind us what an English story this one actually is.

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