Women in Love (2011– )
6.5/10
31
1 user 1 critic

Episode #1.1 

Focusing on the lives of two sisters, Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen, as they struggle with love, passion and commitment in the build up to the First World War.

Director:

Miranda Bowen

Writers:

D.H. Lawrence (based on the novels "The Rainbow" and "Women in Love"), William Ivory
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rachael Stirling ... Ursula Brangwen
Rory Kinnear ... Rupert Birkin
Olivia Grant ... Hermione Roddice
Saskia Reeves ... Anna Brangwen
Shaun Acker Shaun Acker ... Billy Brangwen
Rosamund Pike ... Gudrun Brangwen
Ben Daniels ... Will Brangwen
Joseph Kennedy ... Anton Skrebensky
Joseph Mawle ... Gerald Crich
Jenna Dunster Jenna Dunster ... Abby
Nicholas Pauling ... Halliday
Colin Moss ... Maxim
Rory Acton Burnell Rory Acton Burnell ... Frederick
Erica Wessels Erica Wessels ... Pussum
Edith Plaatjies Edith Plaatjies ... Nightclub Singer
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Storyline

In pre-Great War Nottingham Gudrun Brangwen,a budding artist,prepares to return to Robert,her married lover,in London,to the disapproval of her school-teacher sister Ursula,though she is hardly in a position to take the moral high ground,recovering from a miscarriage,a consequence of her affair with dumb army officer Anton Skrebensky. Ursula tells Anna,her mother,she is too passionate for a conventional relationship and gets dumped by Anton,as does Gudrun by Robert,in both cases after a day by the sea. Anna's passion is starting to fade but is rekindled towards her husband Will after she has sent him out to have sex with another woman. Closet gay school inspector Rupert Birkin flees his number one admirer Hermione Roddice whilst lusting after mine owner's son Gerald Crich. He also comes on to a soldier and gets beaten up for his pains. At Gerald's lavish birthday party his sister Diana drowns,dragging down with her the man who tried to save her. A distraught Gerald turns to a local ... Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 March 2011 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Soundtracks

Also Sprach Zarathustra
Music by Richard Strauss (uncredited}
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User Reviews

 
'Women in Love': Part 1
9 June 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

As a standalone, this mini-series of 'Women in Love' (also mixed with 'The Rainbow') is a mixed bag with some things that are done very well. As an adaptation however, "purists" are most likely to find very little to like, in this respect the mini-series is poor. Always make a conscientious effort to judge adaptations on its own terms, but while 'Women in Love' (2011) is not terrible on its own and is nowhere near as unwatchable as the Amazon reviewers made it out to be it just felt rather bland and one of those rare cases where it is very difficult not to compare.

Ken Russell's 1969 film is just brilliant and is not to be missed if you haven't already. As an adaptation it is one of the best ever where it is very clear that Russell really understood the book and the meaning of all the storytelling and characterisation (especially in the infamous nude wrestling scene). It is also easily his best film, as well as one of his most restrained and coherent, devoid of any of the excesses that he would resort to later on, and contains a towering performance from Glenda Jackson and a career-best from Oliver Reed.

Let's start with the good things about the first part, the better one of the two parts, of 'Women in Love'. The production values are very well-done, the scenery is just gorgeous and it's superbly shot. The music is understated without being one-note, repetitive or syrupy. There is some thoughtful and witty script-writing that does often stick to D.H. Lawrence's style relatively closely, while the storytelling does maintain some of the bleak and unpleasant nature of that in the book in the first part.

Cast mostly do a good job, granted they are nowhere near as good as the cast in the 1969 film but judged on their own while very different they don't do a bad job at all. Particularly good are Saskia Reeves and Ben Daniels as the parents- he authoritative and she incredibly moving, their characters are handled very strongly and memorably.

Also Rachel Stirling, Ursula is the heart of the story and Stirling is terrific and brings a lot of heart to the role. Rosamund Pike's interpretation of Gudrun is very different to Glenda Jackson's, softer, more cunning and more feminine, but those traits are interesting and handled well and Pike is well-suited to them.

Not all the performances work. Rory Kinnear for my tastes does play Birkin as too much of a wimp and could have brought out the character's charm and wit more, an out of step opinion it seems. Joseph Mawle has his moments, Gerald is one of those dangerous-under-the-surface characters that Mawle does sometimes bring out but most of the time he is so boorish and dull that the emotional intensity doesn't come over as well as it could have done.

'Women in Love' (2011) suffers other problems too, the dialogue can get over-explanatory and some is cringe-worthy especially in the nude wrestling/squabble scene on the beach, the film completely understood the meaning of this scene but the mini-series misses the point and handles it a little indifferently.

The storytelling as said already has parts where it's done well in the first part, but there is not enough emotional intensity. Some scenes felt bland, the drowning scene was harrowing in the film and book but very downplayed here. The characters are written well sometimes especially the parents but a lot of the time they do fail to be interesting, their development is mostly very sketchy and the interaction between them is often devoid of emotion and intensity, especially that of Gerald and Gudrun. That Mawle isn't believable doesn't help matters.

Overall, has some things to admire, especially the production values and most of the cast, and not bad on its own but on the most part it was rather bland and pales in comparison to the film version. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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