Lady Chatterley (film)
|Directed by||Pascale Ferran|
|Produced by||Gilles Sandoz|
|Written by||Roger Bohbot
|Music by||Béatrice Thiriet|
|Distributed by||Ad Vitam Distribution (France)|
220 minutes (extended European edition)
|Box office||$4.7 million|
Lady Chatterley is a 2006 French drama film by Pascale Ferran. The film is an adaptation of the novel John Thomas and Lady Jane, an earlier version of Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D. H. Lawrence. It was released in France on 1 November 2006, followed by limited release in the U.S. on 22 June 2007 and in the UK on 24 August 2007.
In a brief autumnal cold opening scene, Lady Constance Chatterley (Marina Hands) farewells a burly visitor of professional appearance who drives himself away from the manor house in a 1932 Peugeot. We then see the conclusion of a formal Christmas dinner, ironically accompanied by the ghostly music of the Danse macabre. The host, baronet Sir Clifford Chatterley, relates how he was wounded in World War I and returned paralyzed from the waist down. Though he is both sexually impotent and emotionally distant, Lady Constance tries to be a good wife to him, though their marriage is now dreary and unhappy.
One day the maid is ill and Constance helps with chores, including going to the gamekeeper, Parkin, to request a brace of pheasants for the kitchen. She is aroused by the sight of Parkin bathing himself, backs down the trail and composes herself before completing the errand. This moment must have been a thing for her, because the formerly-brave Constance falls into a depression, and she can barely move or leave the house. A trip to the doctor finds nothing wrong but reminds here that her mother died soon after such a sag in the vitality. He sends her home with a prescription for "pick me up" and urges her to take charge of her life and work to regain strength, before it is her life.
Her staff suggests walks at least, since the first spring flowers are blooming near the Gameskeeper's hut. She follows up on the suggestion, and at the hut finds and picks a nice collection of the daffodils, but tires and so asks Parkins if she rest in his sunny doorway for a bit and falls asleep in the chair there. She feels so rejuvenated she feels she should visit the hut more often, and tells her husband she needs the spare key for it, so she can let herself in when Parkins is not there. "Why not?" he replies, "the hut is part of the estate here and you own it" , but he does not have the spare. So she asks Parkin for a key and though he initially appears reluctant to give her one, he does. Constance begins going there every day to work side by side with Parkin, who breeds the fowl as well as hunting them and cares for them all along.
One day Constance begins crying while holding on to a baby chick that has just been born. Parkin comforts her and the two kiss, eventually having sex. Though Parkin is initially uncomfortable afterwards, believing that Constance will feel she has lowered herself, Constance is happy and willingly continues the affair. The emphasis in the book on the intellectual/sexual discovery on both their parts enriches the romance. The relationship and sexual encounters evolve and something more begins.
Clifford Lord Chatterly confronts his Lady, Constance, about rumours that exist that she is pregnant. Constance denies them but the two talk about the possibility of Constance having a child, by some unnamed seed, that the two will raise together with Constance insinuating that she will conceive the child during her upcoming vacation with her father and sister. She states, "As you said yourself, 'One body is as good as another' " .True or not, it is a solution to enrich things in the marriage and give Constance the joys of Motherhood she longs for, especially after a recent visit with friend who is nursing her baby.
Parkin and Constance grow closer. Clifford is working with his disabilities and has a golfcart of a wheelchair so he can enjoy the outdoors again, and when it stalls on an uphill bit of trail, Constance and Parkins join forces in getting the chair and Clifford safely home. She spends the night blissfully with Parkins before she leaves, and Constance suggests that she might buy a farm for Parkins so that he would no longer have to work for her husband.
While with her sister and father she receives a letter from Clifford's nurse, Mrs. Bolton, that informs her that Parkin's wife has returned after being thrown out by the man she was living with although Parkin wants nothing to do with her and quickly begins divorce proceedings. Upon her return from her vacation Constance learns that Clifford has managed to move around with the use of crutches and Parkin has had to leave because of the situation with his wife.
Constance and Parkin meet and she informs him she is pregnant. Parkin is devastated because Clifford will raise the child and he can no longer live alone on the grounds but with his mother in the mining village near the estate. Though he wants to move to Canada and be independent, Constance states that she has visited both Canada and America and does not like it for a longterm home. But she also cries that she could not bear him so far from her, so he decides to accept Constance's money to buy a farm and will keep his distance till the baby is born and things in the family circle with Lord Chatterly show their direction - one year. He tells her he will wait for her and willingly accept her if she decides to leave Clifford.
- Marina Hands as Lady Chatterley
- Jean-Louis Coulloc'h as Parkin
- Hippolyte Girardot as Sir Clifford Chatterley
- Hélène Alexandridis as Madame Bolton
- Hélène Fillières as Hilda
- Bernard Verley as Sir Malcolm
- Sava Lolov as Tommy Dukes
- Jean-Baptiste Montagut as Harry Winterslow
- Fanny Deleuze as Tante Eva
- Michel Vincent as Marshall
- Colette Philippe as Madame Marshall
- Christelle Hes as Kate
- Jade Bouchard as La jeune bonne
- Joël Vandael as Field
- Jacques de Bock as Le médecin
- Jean-Claude Leclère as Winter
- Ninon Brétécher as Emma Flint
- Léopold Cannon and Jade Greil as Bébé Flint
- Anne Benoît as La mercière
- Nathalie Eno as La cliente de la mercière
- William Atkinson as Un mineur
- Jean-Baptiste de Laubier as Duncan Forbes
- Jean-Michel Vovk as Albert Adam
- Marina-Aymée Philippe as Bertha Parkin
- Louis Delluc Prize
- César Award