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 à 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.
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D.H. Lawrence's once-scandalous tale of a married woman who finds herself through an affair with another man is brought to the screen in this adaptation directed by Pascale Ferran. Constance Chatterley (Marina Hands) is a lovely woman in her mid twenties who is married to Sir Clifford Chatterley (Hippolyte Girardot), a wealthy British nobleman many years her senior who is paralyzed from the waist down due to an injury sustained during World War I. While Constance loves her husband, she has grown weary of her life as a bird in a gilded cage, as well as her husband's lack of affection. One day, Constance steps out to take a walk and pauses to tell Parkin (Jean-Louis Coulloc'h), the estate's groundskeeper, that the cook would like him to shoot a pheasant for the evening's meal. Constance discovers Parkin is only half-dressed, and the physical strength of his body makes a strong impression on her. Parkin senses Constance's attraction to him, and he's equally taken by her beauty; in time the two throw caution to the wind and give in to their mutual passion. Constance blooms through her lovemaking with Parkin, and she finds his simple, rustic individualism is more to her taste than the life her husband has given her. But as Constance embraces her love for Parkin, others become aware of their relationship. Lady Chatterley was adapted from Lady Chatterley et l'Homme des Bois, the second of three versions Lawrence would publish of his best-known novel (it was published in English as John Thomas and Lady Jane).