Lady Chatterley 

If you've ever longed to see a young Barbara Hershey get it on with a young Udo Kier in the French countryside, run, don't walk, to see the new film Lady Chatterley. It's as close as you're ever going to get to the real thing outside of actorfic. Based on D.H. Lawrence's late-1920s John Thomas and Lady Jane — the second of three drafts of a story that culminated in the scandalous Lady Chatterley's Lover — this French-language adaptation follows the sensual (read: sexual) awakening of Lady Constance Chatterley (Marina Hands, the Hershey in my, I mean your, fantasy) of Wragby Manor. Her husband is an invalid after war wounds leave him without feeling ... mostly from the waist down. (The stink of World War I is all over the film and informs Constance's initial stirrings.)

When Constance accidentally sees gamekeeper Parkin (Jean-Louis Coullo'ch, who looks like Kier when the lighting's right) shirtless, she gets flustered, and it puts her in a funk that neither she nor the doctor can explain. To our 21st-century eyes, though, it's apparent enough: Chatterley is one repressed lady.

As Constance takes her lover, she is at first awkward and childlike, and Parkin is conflicted and gruff. Tip of the hat to Lawrence and the filmmakers, both for mixing sex and class commentary and for having an increasingly experienced Constance and Parkin not descend into coarseness but de-evolve out of the 20th century and back in time to an Edenic lack of shame.

click to enlarge p._57_film_listings_1.jpg

Lady Chatterley won this year's César award (the French Oscar) for Best Film and Hands won Best Actress, and it's easy to see why. The running time is long — 168 minutes — but a truncated version would have pulled the emotional punches and just been soft porn for the tea-and-crumpets set.

Opens Friday, November 9th

Ridgeway Four

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Deadpool 2

      Ryan Reynolds Takes On Superhero Cliches In This Bloody Spoof
    • Adrift

      It’s Shailene Woodley against the sea in this true story of survival
    • Ocean’s 8

      The stellar cast is the best thing about this female driven heist remake

Blogs

Music Blog

McKenna Bray Celebrates New Album

News Blog

City Sets Rules for Bird

News Blog

Flyer, CMI Win Big in Green Eyeshades Journalism Awards

News Blog

Flyer How To: Let's Ride the Bird

News Blog

U of M to Host First Women's Hackathon in Memphis

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Incredibles 2

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: McKenna Bray

From My Seat

Baseball's Bruises

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Greg Akers

Readers also liked…

  • Fifty Shades Freed

    Feature length commercial for luxury goods or chilling glimpse into the post-human future?
    • Feb 16, 2018
  • Death Grip

    Memphis filmmaker Sam Bahre talks about his 11-year struggle to create I Filmed Your Death.
    • Apr 19, 2018
  • Lean On Pete

    • May 16, 2018
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation