Lady Chatterley's Lover is the last novel by English author D. H. Lawrence, first published in 1928. Fast forward nearly one hundred years, and quite a few adaptations later, and Netflix has created another.
Most of us have heard the name but maybe not so many have read the book. So what is it all about?
What Is Lady Chatterley's Lover About?
The story follows a young woman, Constance Reid, who marries an upper-class Baronet, Sir Clifford Chatterley. The marriage is going terribly, as can be expected (considering the period it's set in), more so when Clifford becomes paralysed from the waist down because of a World War I injury.
But desperate to have a child, he suggests that Constance have an affair to get pregnant.
That leads us to the first tryst with a visiting writer, but Clifford quickly realises the mistake he has made and puts an end to it. Now even more miserable, Constance finds solace in Oliver Mellors, the Chatterley family estate gamekeeper.
Nothing stays secret forever, and her dalliances soon become public knowledge. Obviously, this is frowned upon. Not only should she not be having the affair but also because of the class difference between the couple. She's upper class, and he's working class. A big no-no in 1928 Edwardian society.
In the midst of her affair, things start getting frosty at the manor, with Connie thoroughly fed up with Clifford's snobbishness. She's tired of her life with him and in love with Mellors.
But Clifford is not going to be humiliated and refuses a divorce. So what will happen? Well, no spoilers, so you have to watch the movie!
Lady Chatterley's Lover Trailer
Lady Chatterley's Lover Release Date
The movie premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2nd 2022. It was also screened at the BFI London Film Festival on Oct 14th 2022.
An official Netflix movie, the scheduled release date to watch it on the streaming platform is December 2nd 2022.
Is Lady Chatterley's Lover Worth Watching?
You have to understand, going into this movie, that the original book was the absolute height of scandal when it was published.
In fact, it was not published openly in the UK until 1960, and even then, it was the subject of an obscenity trial against the publisher Penguin Books. They won and quickly sold over three million copies because, well, it's full of sex and swear words.
Clearly, times have changed, but that hasn't stopped Lady Chatterley's Lover from being somewhat of a provocative movie. This version is certainly not PG, but it's also not just another throw-away film.
The focus here is on the relationship between Constance and Oliver, not just the sex scenes, which have been diluted from the original text.
This film is far more subtle and ethereal. It's about love, and the class structure that divides them in the book is less of a factor here. Oliver is more sophisticated, and Constance is more of a romantic, giving the couple a more equitable structure.
What I will say, though, is that for puritans who love the book, the ending has changed. Where we were left in limbo in the book, we now have a happier ending to satisfy modern-day audiences.
Overall, Emma Corrin plays Lady Chatterley with an incredible sense of empathy, and as a viewer, you always sense her dilemma of being torn in opposing directions.
The chemistry with Jack O'Connell is palpable, radiating from the screen as their relationship grows over the two-hour run time of the film.
Lady Chatterley's Lover is romance and drama at its finest. The acting is stellar and convincing, the setting is sublime, and our two lovers get the ending that they've probably always deserved.
Lady Chatterley's Lover Netflix Movie Cast
Emma Corrin as Lady Chatterley
Jack O'Connell as Oliver Mellors
Matthew Duckett as Sir Clifford Chatterley
Joely Richardson as Mrs. Bolton
Ella Hunt as Mrs. Flint
Faye Marsay as Hilda