7.3/10
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6 user 3 critic

The Chatterley Affair (2006)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | TV Movie 20 March 2006
The trial, under The Obscene Publications Act, of the publishers of D.H. Lawrence's 'Lady Chatterley's Lover'in 1960 was a sensation that consumed the nation. The movie follows two ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Keith
... Helena
... Vera
Gerard Horan ... Jocular Juror
David Fairweather ... Timid Juror
... Older Educated Male Juror (as Antony Carrick)
... Superior Juror
... Court Official
... Mr. Gerald Gardiner
... Mr. Allen Lane
... Mr. Justice Byrne
... Clerk of the Court
... Older Keith
... Older Helena
... Mr. Mervyn Griffith-Jones
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The trial, under The Obscene Publications Act, of the publishers of D.H. Lawrence's 'Lady Chatterley's Lover'in 1960 was a sensation that consumed the nation. The movie follows two fictional jurors, Helena and Keith, who become passionate lovers during the course of the trial and whose affair mirrors the themes of the novel. Written by johnno.r[at]xtra.co.nz

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Drama | Romance

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Unrated | See all certifications »

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BBC Four [UK]

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20 March 2006 (UK)  »

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1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

12 Angry Prudes
9 November 2007 | by See all my reviews

A coupled getting laid in layers:

We have the book, something fairly tepid by the standards of only a few decades later. Its a serious book.

We have the trial over its publication in Britain. It continues to remind us how penetrating government nannies can be. We can never get enough reminding. The trial presented here uses words from the actual trial, and when you see it, you see a dramatization of what really happened. Its enough to make you cry, especially with the current trend in the US to choose judges like the nitwit revealed here. This bit of the film is remarkably well done.

We have a jury-room layer, where we encounter the twelve diverse people who collectively will decide for a nation whether sex deserves recognition when depicted artistically. This part is dreadful. We see some bluster. We have a John Gielgud-like figure who eventually convinces everyone that the thing "isn't corrupting." Coming after 12 Angry Men, and knowing the importance of the event, this is pale stuff, horribly written with no clear dynamics. Its very, very bad, this.

We have a layer of two jurors, strangers who are attracted to each other. This happens before the subject of the trial is known. But as they read the book, they begin a week-long affair during the trial where they replicate the sex in the book. The woman isn't quite the class of Lady Chatterley, and actually does seem ungrounded. In fact we have no reason at all to know her, even if her part were written to reveal her. We do get to know the man, someone completely lacking in will, influenced by both the book and the woman. What's happening is that in fact, he is "corrupted" by the book, or at least the notions of the book. This could have been turned into something brilliant. But it isn't.

Then we have another layer: the two characters revisited in interviews forty years later. These are two brilliant actors and they are written deeply. This part is fantastic, but exists in only 5 minutes or so. These moments are interspersed throughout and provide a distance. Its a very good thing, this: watching, commenting.

And then there's the final layer: this is a TeeVee show. It has nudity, close to explicit sex, and all of the words that the prosecution found so repellent. The existence of this layer is a statement of sorts. Everything the prudes worried about is available on TeeVee. Hard to see who won, when this has so little actual merit.

All in all, its an intelligent construction. Too bad the writer wasn't up to it. There are some very clever notions that we can dimly see but not reach. he's no Lawrence, even though he knew how to read him.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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