A credible adaptation of D. H. Lawrence?s groundbreaking novel Lady Chatterley?s Lover — or in this case, his earlier draft version of the same story, titled John Thomas and Lady Jane – is inconceivable without graphic carnality. In her 2006 rendering of the work, director Pascale Ferran certainly doesn?t shy away from the flesh and all of its hungers. Yet Ferran?s vision remains as tasteful as it is steeped in Lawrence?s cult of the natural world. The physical passion that the upper-class Lady Constance develops for the earthy gamekeeper Parkin is specifically and continually linked to the environment through evocative shots that capture the surrounding countryside and the changing seasons. Despite the beauty in constant view, this is no well-appointed indulgence in eye candy … la Merchant-Ivory: Ferran keeps the romanticism and overt drama reined in for greater effectiveness. The straightforward performances she elicits from Marina Hands and Jean-Louis Coullo’ch mirror the slowly building force of the entire film. Although set in Lawrence?s England, Lady Chatterley is in French, and it suffers not a wit from the disjunction. -
About the Author
Steve Futterman writes the "Jazz and Standards" listings for The New Yorker.