Lady Chatterley review

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French director Pascale Feran plays it straight down the line with this no-frills retelling of DH Lawrence’s erotic succès de scandale. You probably know the drill: the wife (Marina Hinds) of a paralysed entrepreneur is caught between a cock and a hard place when she seeks sexual healing from their salt-of-the-earth gamekeeper (Jean-Louis Coulloc’h). From the off, Feran favours intellectual showboating over subtlety, slathering this poorly paced and cripplingly long film in primitive symbolism, meaningful gazes and pensive longueurs. As a result, he fails to address the fact that this is a lurid, morally ambivalent story which might have benefited from the hand of a more radical provocateur like Catherine Breillat. In the meantime, fans of the book – which wasn’t banned in France – would probably do better sticking with the 1981 Sylvia Kristel muck-athon.

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