Lady Chatterley’s Lover 2022 Film Netflix LFF Review Movie

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Netflix’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover: A Steamy and Flawed Adaptation

An Immersive Journey of Sexual Awakening

Emma Corrin and Jack O’Connell deliver captivating performances in Netflix’s film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s controversial novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, this steamy and visually stunning movie takes us on a journey of sexual awakening through the eyes of its protagonist. However, despite its many strengths, the film is not without flaws and leans towards a male-centric perspective. Let’s dive deeper into this adaptation and explore its strengths and weaknesses.

An Unhappy Marriage

The story revolves around Lady Constance Chatterley (Emma Corrin), who marries a wealthy man, Clifford (Matthew Duckett), only to discover that their marriage is far from happy. Clifford returns from the war paralyzed from the waist down and becomes increasingly demanding of Constance’s attention. She becomes his nurse, bound to his side and forgoing her own desires and dreams. The portrayal of Clifford as an unpleasant and entitled character highlights Constance’s isolation and the weight of her marital responsibilities.

The Arrival of Freedom

When Constance’s sister Hilda (Faye Marsay) visits, she hires a nurse, Mrs. Bolton (Joely Richardson), to provide Constance with some much-needed freedom. This newfound independence allows Constance to venture outside and explore the beauty of nature. It is during her solitary walks at the Wragby estate that she encounters Oliver (Jack O’Connell), the gamekeeper. Instantly drawn to each other, Constance and Oliver embark on an affair that complicates their lives and relationships.

A Complex Relationship and Authentic Chemistry

Emma Corrin and Jack O’Connell excel in portraying the evolution of Constance and Oliver’s relationship. The screenplay, written by David Magee (known for Life of Pi), gives them ample time to develop their connection, resulting in palpable sexual tension and authentic chemistry. The film also skillfully incorporates the perspectives of the villagers and other characters, providing a backdrop of social unrest and support within the mining village setting.

A Sensory Immersion

Lady Chatterley’s Lover immerses viewers in Constance’s emotions and liberation through its stunning cinematography by Benoît Delhomme, known for At Eternity’s Gate. The visuals, coupled with meticulous sound design, enhance the viewer’s experience, making them feel a part of Constance’s journey. Emma Corrin’s exceptional performance further heightens the emotional impact, allowing audiences to deeply connect with her resilient and larger-than-life character.

A Paradoxical Portrayal of Female Desire

Despite its many strengths, Lady Chatterley’s Lover falls short in its portrayal of Constance’s sexual desires. The film, like the novel, focuses on her sexual awakening, but it presents a somewhat unrealistic and male-centric perspective. Constance’s pleasure is depicted through quick encounters that feel mechanical, emphasizing repetitive physical intercourse without acknowledging her needs or exploring women’s pleasure in a meaningful way. This paradox hinders the film’s potential to shed light on female sexuality.

A Male Gaze

The film also falls into the trap of utilizing a male gaze in its depiction of Constance’s sexuality. Close-ups of her face and frequent nudity objectify her, while scenes with Oliver often lack the same level of exposure. This portrayal feels gratuitous, as there is no consistent narrative reason for Constance to be unclothed. It misses an opportunity to present a more balanced and realistic portrayal of her desires and sexual agency.

Timeliness and Missed Opportunities

Lady Chatterley’s Lover is described as a “surprisingly timely” film by the BFI. While certain aspects have been updated to resonate with modern audiences, such as the relationship between Constance and Mrs. Bolton, the film’s exploration of female desires remains outdated. Given the book’s focus on female pleasure, the film misses an opportunity to delve deeper into Constance’s wants and to present a more realistic portrayal. This limitation prevents the film from fully resonating with contemporary viewers.

A Captivating Watch

Despite its flaws, Lady Chatterley’s Lover remains a captivating film that will be available on Netflix in December. The incredible performances, engaging screenplay, and technical prowess make it a visually appealing and emotionally impactful experience. Audiences will find themselves invested in the fates of Constance and Oliver as they navigate the complexities of their affair.


In conclusion, Netflix’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover offers a visually stunning and immersive portrayal of sexual awakening. Emma Corrin and Jack O’Connell deliver exceptional performances, bringing depth and authenticity to their characters’ evolving relationship. However, the film falls short in its portrayal of female desire and relies on a male-centric perspective. Timeless issues concerning gender dynamics and missed opportunities to explore female sexuality hinder the film’s impact. Despite these shortcomings, Lady Chatterley’s Lover remains a captivating watch that will leave audiences engaged and eager to unravel the lovers’ fates.


1. Is Lady Chatterley’s Lover a faithful adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s novel?

Yes, while the film introduces some changes to resonate with modern audiences, it remains faithful to the essence of Lawrence’s novel. Certain characters and relationships are given more depth and humanity, enhancing the overall narrative.

2. What makes Emma Corrin’s performance standout in Lady Chatterley’s Lover?

Emma Corrin’s portrayal of Lady Constance Chatterley is captivating and emotionally resonant. Her performance showcases her versatility as an actress and leaves a lasting impact on viewers.

3. Are the steamy scenes in the film essential to the storytelling?

While the film depicts intimate moments between the characters, some audiences may find the portrayal of these scenes to be excessive and male-centric. The focus on Constance’s pleasure and the depiction of her desires may not align with modern concepts of female sexuality.

4. Does Lady Chatterley’s Lover offer a fresh perspective on the story?

While the film offers some updates to resonate with modern audiences, it falls short in fully exploring female desire and presenting a realistic portrayal. However, its captivating performances and technical aspects make it a worthwhile watch.

5. When and where can I watch Lady Chatterley’s Lover?

Lady Chatterley’s Lover premiered at the 2022 BFI London Film Festival and will be released in select US theaters on November 23, select UK cinemas on November 25, and globally on Netflix on December 2. Stay tuned for its release to enjoy this visually stunning adaptation.