Parents' Guide to

Lady Chatterley

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Lusty D.H. Lawrence adaptation for adults only.

Movie NR 2007 168 minutes
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It would be much too easy to classify writer-director Pascale Ferran's LADY CHATTERLEY as pure titillation. After all, it's based on D.H. Lawrence's scandalous novel (the version titled John Thomas and Lady Jane, anyway), and yes, there's plenty of sex and nudity. But to do so would be a disservice both to Lawrence and to the able Ferran; the film didn't win scores of Cesars (France's version of the Oscars) for nothing. In less skillful and respectful hands, Lady Chatterley (in French with English subtitles) could have easily devolved into a soft-porn vehicle masquerading as intelligent cinema.

The movie isn't without shortcomings, however: The textual transitions -- basically explanation in plain white letters printed against a black background -- are clunky (though they do move the action quite a bit). And while dreamy indolence seems apt for a re-telling of the Lawrence classic, Ferran overdoes it. With too many scenes feeling overly portentous (black clouds roiling overhead, too-verdant fields glistening under the sun, dew dripping from flowers) it becomes not just languorous but downright slow.

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