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A film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's novel. After a crippling injury leaves her husband impotent, Lady Chatterly is torn between her love for her husband and her physical desires. With her husband's consent, she seeks out other means of fulfilling her needs. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
Class consciousness is the thematic excuse for this very Victorian-era story of the wife of a debilitated English aristocrat. The wife has certain "needs" that cannot be met by her husband, who is paralyzed from the waist down. So, she finds what she needs in the grounds-keeper, a ruggedly handsome man. Visual eroticism is the real theme, of course.
There's not a lot to the story. The whole thing could have been neatly told in thirty minutes. Here, it's terribly drawn out, with scenes that are way too lengthy. What's really annoying is the vanity that characters exhibit. Lady Chatterley (Sylvia Kristel), in particular, is obsessed with her own body. Partially nude, she stares vainly at herself in a mirror. For his part the grounds-keeper (Nicholas Clay) likes to do outdoor chores with his shirt off, convenient for any sensual woman who just happens to be strolling by. It's all rather obvious and superficial. Only toward the end does the story actually get interesting.
I do like the majestic musical score. And the cinematography isn't bad at all, with some good outdoor scenes in the fog. There are lots of close-up camera shots, and quite a few extreme close-ups. This film is obviously a Sylvia Kristel vehicle. But her acting is stilted and self-conscious.
Maybe the film was sexually daring in its time. By today's standards, "Lady Chatterley's Lover" is quite tame. I would mostly describe it as slow, drawn-out, and dull, with characters who are annoyingly self-centered and vain.
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