Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Lady Chatterley is the recipient of six César Awards, France's equivalent of the Oscar. Although the film is capable of sustaining our interest throughout, the viewer may find it lacking in some of the transcendence Lady Chatterley's lust is supposed to inspire.
  2. 75
    Few films even try to render the full range of emotions and sensations in female sexuality as the aptly titled Lady Chatterley, directed and co-written by a Frenchwoman, Pascale Ferran.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Pascale Ferran's Lady Chatterley is sensual in escalating degrees of heat, but the film's eroticism, which is substantial, is laid on with a caress. The movie's a slow-motion swoon back into Eden -- a nature documentary about humans -- and it's hypnotic.
  4. A masterful 168-minute piece of storytelling that never ceases to be gripping in spite of its measured pace.
  5. 50
    Watching this film I reflected that there are only so many Cracker Jacks you can eat before you decide to hell with the toy.
  6. Reviewed by: Sid Smith
    The result is not a movie of peekaboo titillation, but a studied, original portrait of sexuality and its role in human relationships.
  7. Reviewed by: David Parkinson
    Pascale Ferran as the first female director to adapt this notorious novel absorbs her successful vision with a uniquely romantic vibe.
  8. There's an adult life force in every frame of this luxuriously paced work, even in the sight of rain and a lady's stocking.
  9. 90
    The supreme achievement of this lovely film — all three rhythmic, leisurely hours of it -- is that what borders on faintly fascistic body worship in the novel instead feels as perfectly natural to us as it does to the lovers. Lawrence would kvell.
  10. The most frankly sensual movie in memory. Winner of five Cesars, the French Oscar, including best picture and best actress for its luminous star, Marina Hands, it has found the soul of the celebrated D.H. Lawrence novel.
  11. 63
    Its candid conversations about sexuality are what places Lawrence's protagonist in a class by herself.
  12. It captures the animal attraction we call lust and carefully tracks its evolution to true love. For all its faults, this beautifully shot, sexually graphic film is a gem.
  13. I found the first half-hour a snooze, but once I adjusted to the movie's rhythms, I was completely enraptured. Ferran weaves the love affair into nature, but not in the mystical, sanctified manner of Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain."
  14. 88
    Intelligent and tasteful, even while being sexually frank.
  15. A heartbreaking story of true love.
  16. 75
    Being a fairly faithful adaptation, this version also has a lot of that other stuff about the hypocrisy of civilized life, the truthfulness of natural splendor and so forth.
  17. 88
    It's a movie as timely as it is thrilling to watch.
  18. 70
    If a film can be both lush and cold, both erotic and cautious, that film is Lady Chatterley. It's a picture to honor and appreciate, not necessarily to love.
  19. As the title character in Lady Chatterley, Marina Hands does the most persuasive job of feigning sexual pleasure since Jane Fonda in "Coming Home."
  20. These are mortal souls and unglamorous bodies and Ferran explores their affair in its earthy, physical and fleshy reality.
  21. 50
    This might be pleasant to watch, in a floaty '70s-movie kind of way, if not for the film's groaning 168-minute length and abrupt thudder of an ending.
  22. In this film the lovers are seeking the impossible through the possible. The knowledge of that impossibility makes the scenes all the more powerful. This is the core of Lawrence's novel, and Ferran has understood it.
  23. 90
    This Lady Chatterley, winner of five César awards in France, feels bracingly fresh, vital and modern.
  24. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Wragby is a stately manor straight out of English House & Garden, rather than a sprawling, suffocating warren teetering on the edge of a coal pit, and sex is portrayed as a means of personal deliverance rather than a universal salvation, leaving Lawrence's admirers still waiting for the film that will finally do the novel justice.
  25. 80
    This is not so much a love story (and even less a story about love) than it is a movie of passionate loveliness.
  26. Director Pascale Ferran makes this a sort of opera of two bodies, as the characters discover not only each other but themselves. And the French filmmaker cannily turns their corporeal discoveries into a moral mission, two desperately lonely souls crying for spiritual freedom in a world of moral constriction.

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