Release Date: June 22nd, 2007 (Cinema Village and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas) by Kino International.
The Cast: Marina Hands, Jean-Louis Coullo’ch, Hippolyte Girardot, Helene Alexadridis, Helene Fillieres.
Directed by Pascale Ferran.
In French with subtitles.
BASIC PREMISE: In the early 20th Century, Lady Constance Chatterley (Hands) has a steamy love affair with Oliver (Coullo'ch) while her wheelchair-bound husband, Clifford (Girardot), stays at home. Based on the novel by D.H. Lawrence.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Although Marina Hands shines in her performance as the titular characters, Lady Chatterley suffers from a tedious plot that often drags and minimal character development. Lady Chatterley moves out into the country with her husband, Oliver, who became paralyzed from the waist down during WWI. He allows her to find a man she can sleep with in order to have an heir, but little does he know that she has attraction to their gamekeeper, Oliver. Soon enough, she leaves her home and walks through the woods to make love to Oliver in his cabin and as well as outside in nature. Co-writer/director Pascale Ferran keeps the plot simple and focuses on the sexual relationship between her and Oliver while including plenty of nudity. However, there’s not enough of a compelling drama. Too many scenes feel unnecessary and drag—i.e. how many times does the audience have to watch Oliver chop wood? Marina Hands’ charming performance at least helps you to be mildly engaged, but the minimal character development in the screenplay fails to bring her to life so that you care about and understand her, especially if you haven’t read the novel. On a positive note, the exquisite cinematography and lush scenery looks absolutely breathtaking, but that’s not enough to justify the excessive running time of 168 minutes.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Minimal character development and often drags.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 6
IN A NUTSHELL: A radiant performance by Marina Hands and lush scenery barely compensates for the minimal character development as well as the plot that lacks drama and often drags.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD
The "L" Menu