This `Lady Chatterley' is an affair to remember

Review B

August 17, 2007|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic

In last week's episode of the AMC cable series Mad Men, some secretaries eager for classy erotica pass around a battered paperback of D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, which was cleared for publication and distribution by the courts in the year the series takes place, 1959. It's possible that when Lady Chatterley comes out on DVD, it may be passed around similar circles for the same reason. Few films even try to render the full range of emotions and sensations in female sexuality as the aptly titled Lady Chatterley, directed and co-written by a Frenchwoman, Pascale Ferran.

By now everyone seems to know the story: Constance (Marina Hands) has married a minor nobleman and mine owner, Sir Clifford Chatterley (Hippolyte Girardot), and continues to live with him and care for him after wounds he suffers in World War I make him impotent. She experiences a sexual awakening, though, when she falls into an affair with his gamekeeper, Parkin (Jean-Louis Coulloc'h), and it leads her to question everything about modern society and her place within it.

Lady Chatterley (Kino) Starring Marina Hands, Jean-Louis Coulloc'h, Hippolyte Girardot. Directed by Pascale Ferran. Unrated. In French, with English subtitles. Time 168 minutes.

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