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LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER: 2022 (Available for streaming on Netflix) This film is based on a controversial 1928 novel with the same title written by D. H. Lawrence. The book is now considered a masterpiece, but it was banned as pornography for nearly thirty years in the United States, as well as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, and Japan. Playing Lady Chatterley is Emma Corrin, best known for her role as Princess Diana in The Crown. The book became notorious for its story of the physical and emotional relationship between a working-class man and an upper-class woman and for its explicit descriptions of sex and its use of then-unprintable four-letter words. Perhaps most outrageous at the time, though, was the author’s portrayal of female sexual pleasure. As one critic observed, Lady Chatterley’s Lover manages to be both steamy and British stuffy at the same time. Immediately following the wedding that made her Lady Chatterley, her husband went off to fight in the First World War. When he returned, he was paralyzed from the waist down. He was unable to walk or have children. Lady Chatterley’s life of wealth and privilege gradually becomes an incarceration forcing her into a life Edwardian society expects of her. One of the things expected of her was providing her husband an heir to the family’s fortune. Her husband makes it clear that he wants her to sleep with another man in order to produce that heir. Being a wealthy aristocrat, he also clarifies that his wife should avoid "the wrong sort of fellow" and only consider upper class men as candidates for the siring. Lady Chatterley and her sterile marriage ultimately leads her to a torrid affair with their gamekeeper, and it's here she finds tenderness, care, passion, and yes, love — the elements that have been missing in her own marriage.  But the gamekeeper is exactly the "wrong sort of fellow" her husband pompously declared earlier as unsuitable. The movie and book are as much about class expectations as about sexual awakening and love. The film may not have the power to shock that it once did, but Barbara and I liked it especially for the historical significance. Perhaps our expectations were a little too high. GRADE B+/B

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