Who doesn’t love a good period drama? Whether it’s tales of romance and self-discovery like the upcoming Emily, politics, and power like Netflix’s hugely popular The Crown, or a lighthearted “what if?” story like Disney+’s Rosaline, the genre has endless possibilities.
Netflix is bringing a brand new adaptation of the D.H Lawerence novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover to its platform on 2nd December, and it looks sure to be a good one.
The adaptation stars Emma Corrin (The Crown) in the lead role of Constance Reid, the titular Lady Chatterley. Corrin, who is also set to appear this autumn in the West End, steps into the shoes of a Baronet’s wife in the 1920s and begins an affair with her gamekeeper. Jack O’Connell (Skins, Godless) stars opposite her as Oliver Mellors. Despite their class differences, which makes their liaison scandalous for the time, the two fall into a passionate relationship. Acting alongside Corrin & O’Connell are Matthew Duckket as Constance’s husband, Sir Clifford Chatterley, and Joely Richardson as Mrs Bolton, Clifford’s nurse.
The original novel was highly controversial in several countries for years after it was written and was not published in its uncensored form in the UK until 1960, some 32 years after its first private publication in Italy. It was also the subject of an obscenity trial, which publisher Penguin Books won. The main reasons for the controversy stemmed from the nature of the plot – a working-class man and an upper-class woman having an affair – as well as its graphic and explicit depictions of sex and the body, plus its use of profane language.
Director Laure de Clermont, known for her work on The Mustang, was keen to capture the original themes of the novel. One of the central ideas in the novel, other than the class divide, is the idea of “mind and body”, and how they both fit together. Speaking to Vogue, De Clermont commented on a scene in the film where Constance dances in the rain naked, with her telling of Emma Corrin wanting to show the liberation of the moment and freedom through the character: “Emma’s such a free spirit and I think they wanted to express that through Connie.” De Clermont’s film will, aside from sex and sensuality, also have plenty of period dresses, with the fashion being chosen with modern audiences in mind. You’ll be able to see exactly how the controversial yet highly relevant story plays out when it debuts in cinemas next month.