Sir Clifford Chatterley (Matthew Duckett) returns from World War I a paraplegic; his impotence and emotional indifference to his wife (Emma Corrin) drives her into the arms of their gamekeeper (Jack O’Connell). Getting erotic dramas right isn’t easy; D.H. Lawrence’s novel has been filmed many times, but the most famous version still seems to be the derided 1981 adaptation starring Sylvia Kristel. The Mustang (2019) director’s attempt takes the story and its portrait of class society seriously, in a handsome, sensual and emotional depiction of how lust and true affection must be part of any romantic relationship for it to work. Corrin is especially good as the restless lady.
2022-U.K.-U.S. 127 min. Color. Produced by Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin, Elizabeth Gabler, Laurence Mark. Directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre. Screenplay: David Magee. Novel: D.H. Lawrence. Cinematography: Benoît Delhomme. Cast: Emma Corrin (Constance ”Connie” Reid), Jack O’Connell (Oliver Mellors), Matthew Duckett (Sir Clifford Chatterley), Joely Richardson, Ella Hunt, Faye Marsay.
Trivia: Richardson played the lead in a 1993 TV adaptation of the novel.
Last word: “We are going through times today with Roe vs. Wade, the revolution in Iran, where the body of the woman is the subject of political tensions. That, for me, was what I really wanted to express with this version. Obviously, there are other important themes like class and social pressure, but I felt the idea of a woman being free sexually, being free in her body, and the importance of touch and sensuality, was necessary for a modern audience.” (De Clermont-Tonnerre, W Magazine)