Thursday, August 23, 2007

A strangely passion-less LADY CHATTERLEY

French director Pascale Ferran has turned in a lyrical but curiously anaemic version of the infamous novel. It scores strong on its high definition photography of lush English countryside and its elegant costumes and interior design. Frankly, it looks like a Laura Ashley catalogue. Marina Hands also make a delicate and tremulous Lady Chatterley, bored, isolated and frustrated since her husband lost his legs in World War One. But Jean-Louis Coulloch's Parkin (as Mellors was in D H Lawrence's first draft) is hopelessly mis-cast. Instead of a vital man at home in nature, we have a fat, balding heavy-breather who looks a bit like Marlon Brando in LAST TANGO but without the ravaged vestiges of beauty. The sex scenes are hopelessly unerotic and hopelessly shot. The whole exercise rolls forward painfully slowly, softly lit with birds twittering in the back-ground. I have to say, I was bored rigid. And as for this movie winning a clutch of Cesars, the French equivalent of the Oscars, did none of the voters see GABRIELLE?

LADY CHATTERLEY was released in France in 2006 and played Berlin 2007. It was released in Belgium, Greece, Russia, Finland, Norway and the US earlier this year and goes on release in the UK tomorrow. It goes on release in Australia on September 6th 2007.

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