Tuesday, 22 June 2010


Louise Delamere and Timothy Spall

Clever film. Written by Andrew Davies (wouldn't you know it?) the film tells of two (fictional) jurors at the (real life) trial in 1962 of Penguin Books to decide whether their publication of D.H. Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover contravened the Obscene Publications Act. The couple, she (Louise Delamere) is middle class, divorced, experienced and sophisticated, while he (Timothy Spall) is working class, married and a bit naive. While serving on the jury they begin an affair which reflects that in the book. The illicit romance makes him re-evaluate his life, expectations and values and she finds in the brief liason a fulfillment and happiness that seems to elude her in the rest of her life. We learn this as the film is told in flashback from the characters older selves (perfectly played by Claire Bloom and Kenneth Cranham). The trial itself is taken strictly from the actual transcripts and the parade of expert witnesses (including David Tennant) defending Lawrence's graphic depiction of the sexual act, actually comments on the morality of the affair of the two central characters. Being an Andrew Davies script the film has its share of material that some may find shocking in a television movie from the BBC with all Lawrences expletives paraded (if you want to hear Dr.Who talking dirty this is the film for you!) and graphic depictions of intercourse (and not too graphically oral and anal sex) and full frontal male nudity. The acting is superb and I found the characters totally believable - not to mention extremely likeable. The period atmosphere and detail is first class and the sparing use of pop music (often over-used in other films) as a link to separate the days of the trial works well. Plaudits all around. Rating ****

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

Hmm, I hadn't heard of this but it sounds like something well worth seeing. And of course, anything with Claire Bloom in it has got to be worth a look. Also a movie about books (in my current booky mood) would go down a treat.