Unimpressed by this French take on Lady Chatterley

PUBLISHED: 13:16 06 September 2007 | UPDATED: 14:37 07 September 2010

Lady chatterley (18) Director Pascale Ferran Starring Marina Hands, Jean-Louis Coullouc h, Hippolyte Girardot, Helene Alexandridis. 168 mins One star rating You ll go one of two ways with this French adaptation of DH Lawrence s second version of Lady Chat

Lady chatterley (18) Director Pascale Ferran Starring Marina Hands, Jean-Louis Coullouc'h, Hippolyte Girardot, Helene Alexandridis. 168 mins One star rating

You'll go one of two ways with this French adaptation of DH Lawrence's second version of Lady Chatterley's Lover.

You may be thrilled by the languorous and lengthy fidelity with which it transposes Lawrence's social, political and sexual themes to the screen.

Or so mind-numbingly bored that you'll be dreaming up schemes for getting your own back on them - a one-hour version of Proust starring the Emmerdale cast perhaps.

A whole 168 minutes of Lady Chatterley! This is DH Lawrence for crying out loud, not Pirates Of The Caribbean.

You can't fault the studious care and attention they have put into it - even down to the use of "yer" rather than "your" in the subtitles. But the result is oppressively earnest.

The sex scenes are all very actorly. You just know that each performer has spent hours working out the emotional minutiae of their love making. Even the grunting feels studied.

Director Ferran's slow and steady approach certainly gets you into the characters. But it exposes rather than illuminates. It feels like a Mills & Boon story directed by Jacques Rivette.

I should emphasise that this is not an adaptation of what is generally thought of as Lady Chatterley's Lover but a previous version of the story originally published by Lawrence under the rather charming title John Thomas And Lady Jane.

In the title role, Hands does a very good English rose. While as the cuckolded Sir Clifford looking on from his wheelchair, Girardot exudes the deluded self-confidence of former Newcastle United manager Glenn Roeder, which is ideal

for the part.

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