Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Lady Chatterley

I must be a Pom, because it seems odd to me to hear a Roman Emperor speaking with an American accent but not with a British one (OK I admit, I would find a Geordie or Scouser Roman Emperor equally odd!). Similarly it felt slightly odd to hear English people speaking French (or rather French actors playing English people), but apart from that Lady Chatterley could be British period film of the D. H. Lawrence novel. The house and grounds could have been an English country house and grounds (not one of the great houses, but still big enough to require a number of servants). The furniture, clothes, mannerisms were all perfect for a British period piece set in the 1920s. I wish I knew French better to hear if there was a difference between the way that Constance Chatterley and her ilk spoke and the way Parkin (the gamekeeper) and the other servants spoke. That sort of thing is lost in subtitles.

I've never read the novel so I can't comment on how close the film sticks to original plot and dialog, but as the film is mostly about Constance and her relationship with Parkin I guess it is reasonably faithful. There is plenty of sex, heavy breathing and eventually even nudity; mostly in damp green countryside. So if you want a long, gentle, sex movie you can take your grandparents to (and as I saw it on a Tuesday afternoon most of the audience were of that age) then this is your film.

One very minor niggle. Before Constance embarks on her outdoor sex life we see she has a very nice all over body tan, which seems incongruous for a woman who perpetually dresses in stockings, long skirt, long sleeves, high neck lines, often a scarf and usually a hat. Perhaps it is difficult to find a young French actress without any tan!

Ian's rating: 4/5

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