Emma Corrin and Jack O’Connell shine in Netflix ‘s Lady Chatterley’s LoverLaure de Clermont-Tonnerre vaporand, impressively, if a bit too masculine adaptation of the DH Lawrence novel.
The controversial novel that was banned and put on trial even before it was published has been adapted into a film once again, and it’s every bit as outrageous and gripping as you’d expect. but it’s also a beautiful and immersive film that allows us to experience first-hand the sexual awakening of its protagonist, placing us next to her as she endures an unhappy and loveless marriage and, finally, takes her first steps towards a fuller life. There are many things I like about Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (the mustang) Lady Chatterley’s Lover, produced for Netflix by Sony’s 3000 Pictures – might even be the best adaptation of DH Lawrence’s 1983 novel to date. Which isn’t to say the movie isn’t without flaws: It just so happens to be an improvement over its many predecessors.
The film tells the story of Lady Constance Chatterley (Emma Corrin, from The crown), a woman born into a life of privilege who marries a rich man and immediately realizes that it is not going to be a happy marriage. If the relationship was a bit cold at first, when Clifford (Matthew Duckett) returns from the war, things get even worse as he is paralyzed from the waist down and seeks attention. And so, so, Constance is no longer a wife but a nurse, since her husband doesn’t let anyone else take care of him. Our unhappy protagonist he spends his days bathing his better half, writing his novels by dictation, tending to her every need, and even pushing his very heavy wheelchair up and down hills, as Clifford is not happy about the idea of his wife going out on her own. . enjoying her freedom while he can’t.
Clifford Chatterley is immediately shown as a very unpleasant and entitled man, whose selfishness is evident in the way he treats everyone around him. Matthew Duckett is notable for making his character immediately obnoxious, the exact opposite of his wife, in fact, and we despise him even more when he asks Constance to find a man to get her pregnant, since he’s rendered impotent but he it is desperate for an heir. And so Constance feels even more alone, the weight of these unusual marital responsibilities adding to the feeling of being unloved, trapped in a house she hates and not allowed to be herself.
One day, her sister Hilda (Faye Marsay, from game of Thrones) comes to visit. Seeing Constance in such physical and mental anguish, she confronts Clifford and hires him a nurse, Mrs. Bolton (Joely Richardson, from pinch/put), to give his sister some freedom. And so, Lady Chatterley begins to enjoy a certain independence, walking alone and enjoying nature. But there are other sights to enjoy at the Wragby estate, from ranger Oliver (Jack O’Connell, from seberg), with whom Constance is immediately taken. Needless to say, start an adventure between the two and the situation becomes more complex, not only because of Constance and Oliver’s reputation, since Constance is married and Oliver has a wife who doesn’t agree to the divorce, but also because of the very real feelings they have for each other. one another.
Emma Corrin and Jack O’Connell excel at showing us an adventure that soon turns into something else, and the combination of a script (The life of Pi‘s David Magee) that gives lovers ample time to get to know each other and make good chemistry between the protagonists allows for a lot of sexual tension, but also awkward conversations that make their relationship more authentic. All around her, the villagers and other hacienda people provide much-needed background on life in the mining town where the hacienda is located, where social unrest is commonplace for the men and women are gossiping but also, sometimes , , being in solidarity with each other. While all this is going on, we are always by Constance’s sideexperiencing her emotions as she goes through different stages of her liberation, made even more immersive by the film’s stunning cinematography (Benoît Delhomme, from at the gate of eternity) and great sound design. Corrin is the real star of the movie, and her performance will give you spencer it vibrates and affects you on an emotional level, making you instantly relate to its rugged, larger-than-life character.
So what’s wrong with Lady Chatterley’s Lover? The BFI describes this adaptation as a “surprisingly timely” film, and in some respects it is. Although the film is fairly faithful to its source material, a couple of things have been changed to make it more resonate with modern audiences, and the ending in particular is very effective. the character of Mrs Bolton It has also been given more humanity than in previous adaptations, and the relationship that develops between Constance and the nurse is one of the highlights of the film. At the same time, the film is anything but timely when it comes to its depiction of the wants and needs of its main character. Lady Chatterley’s Lover It’s full of steamy scenes that audiences will appreciate, but it’s the way those scenes have been framed and depicted that feels like a paradox, since the movie (like the novel) is supposed to be about desire and pleasure. female sexual, and yet what Constance seems to enjoy is a very masculine and frankly unrealistic depiction of sex.
Without going into too much detail about what happens in those scenes, the problem here is that our protagonist would seem to reach great heights of pleasure through very quick sexual encounters that feel almost like a mechanical act: more often than not, they involve repetitive . only physical intercourse, which Constance seems to enjoy too much, considering her needs, and women’s pleasure, as a whole, are almost never recognized. The movie wants us to understand that Constance doesn’t want to be seen as a lady and she needs Oliver to take care of her, but that doesn’t mean her sexual needs shouldn’t be taken into consideration, and Lady Chatterley’s Lover‘s description of sex, seen from the main character’s point of view, feels unrealistic at best. There is a point where Constance delivers a line that could very well have come from Christian Grey’s mouth, and not in a good way.
Not only that, but most of these scenes are shot in a way that frames Constance as the object of desire and gives us the point of view of the male observer, with frequent close-ups of her face and nude body often in the foreground. In fact, Constance is usually naked, sometimes in a pretty graphic way, both when she’s with Oliver and when she’s alone. This feels unnecessary, as there isn’t always a reason why she should be nude, and even gratuitous considering that Oliver is only nude when the narrative calls for it, and even then the camera often lingers on Constance.
Of course, DH Lawrence wrote the novel in 1928 (although it wasn’t published until 1983), and Constance’s tastes are similarly described in the book. But with the release of yet another adaptation of a novel that has been made into a movie sixteen more times in the past, one would expect it to be more timely, since its existence would be justified by the fact that modern audiences could relate more to it. Since the book in question is primarily about the importance of female pleasure, not exploring this in greater depth and presenting a more realistic portrayal of our heroine’s needs and desires feels like a missed opportunity.
While certainly not as relevant to today’s audiences as it might have been, Lady Chatterley’s Lover It’s still worth watching when it hits Netflix in December. This stunning, sexy and technically impressive adaptation of DH Lawrence has very good performances and a mostly attractive scriptand will keep your eyes glued to the screen throughout its duration, while you wait to discover the fate of our lovers.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover premiered at the BFI London Film Festival 2022 on October 14, 2022. The film will open in selected UK cinemas on November 25 and globally on Netflix at December 2.