Excellent presentation of Lawrences warm blooded themes
Doug Anderson | Miami Beach, Florida United States | 01/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Film versions of novels rarely get everything right but this comes pretty close. I especially like how effective the film is at conveying the importance of the body and physical sensation so vital in Lawrence's writing. I think a film can only attempt to show what the book more specifically says so to the mind the book will always be preferred but with a writer like Lawrence film makes perfect sense. In fact Lawrences flaw is perhaps that he at times uses too many words when an image would suffice. So I love that someone as visually audacious as Ken Russell made this film. I've seen it many times and always love different things about it. Russell is usually equated with excess but here everything exists in just the right amount, nothing is overdone, he finds just the right way to convey literary content without overly revering it and so framing it too neatly. Russell remains true to the book,and to his credit the way he injects the Lawrentian themes enlivens his characters, make them seem even more vital which is no small accomplishment and so the film never feels "literary" even though it is very literary in the best sense. To Lawrence love and any kind of relationship was always marked with struggle and restlessness because it could never be perfected. He was not interested in the bourgeoisie convention of marriage which domesticated love into something else but in its truest most uncompromised state. So in this film Ken Russell gives us that. Not every detail of the whole story but the essential feeling of love as experienced by four very different temperaments and all four main characters are very different types indeed, and all react differently to passion and interpret its meaning differently also. The most beautiful scenes are the wordless ones when the characters stop analyzing what their lives are about and allow themselves to simply inhabit their own passion and instincts. I think Russell is very true to Lawrence's concerns, perhaps shares them, but articulates them in his own visual way which really makes this a kind of collaboration with Lawrence as some of the scenes have no precedent in the book. The characters all remain complex and interesting and much remains unresolved because it is unresolvable. He also did a version of Women in Love's companion novel The Rainbow which is only about half as good."
A Must MUST see for all.
Doug Anderson | 11/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most magnificent films and most sensuous ever made. I rented "Women in Love" years ago over and over again, until I gave up and finally bought a copy. I have grown attached to this film. Glenda Jackson deservedly won oscar for her portrayal as Gudrun. Cinematographer should have won too for his elegant photography. When discussing this film with other film buffs, they keep mentioning the "most" brilliant scene, the nude scene with Alan Bates and Oliver Reed. I agree it's brilliant and exotic, but there are others that are beautiful, graceful and unforgettable: 1) Jennie Linden's nude scene with Alan Bates, circling gracefully around one another in a field while a beautiful score of music plays in the background. 2) Jackson's dance and graceful movement while reaching for a tree branch and slowly descending to the ground and back again, while Linden sings "Pretty Bubbles". 3) Linden's reconciliation with Bates starting with "See what a flower I found you?" 4) Jackson's gorgeous elongated eyes behind a veil putting on a costume in Switzerland while having an affair and Stravinsky plays in the background. No matter how many times I see this film, I find new beautiful discoveries. I pledge people to give this one a chance and I promise it will be worth while and rewarding."
A beautiful film
Sarah_Aliza | New England, United States | 04/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Can you really do better that Alan Bates AND Oliver Reed? I love everthing about this movie. It is filmed so beautifully and Glenda Jackson's performance gives me the chills. Many people know about this film because of its treament of sexuality, but it is not raunchy or tasteless, it is perfect. This is one of my favorite movies to curl up and watch on a rainy afternoon. I suppose it is dated, but give it a chance and as crazy as it sounds, you too will start to fall in love."
Key to Lawrence
Billyjack D'Urberville | USA | 10/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a necessary film to getting a handle on D.H. Lawrence, a writer much more discussed than understood. Director Russell properly finds his key and turns it relentlessly: the art deco aesthetic, both formal and almost too self-consciously daring, which prevailed in Europe between World War I and Wold War II. It never took total flight and is easily parodied; it is thought of today mainly as a style of decorating furniture or buildings. It had a short life and was obliterated since the second war; Lawrence was quite up to his neck in it, and its strangeness throws people off who plunge into his works looking for the sexual liberator. That is all there, all right, but in his time the chick was still largely imprisoned in the egg, so to speak, of late 19th century Victorian aesthetics too.
Simply, it was a transitional period, and can be a little edgy. Russell is not afraid of it at all and has the guts to drink his Lawrence straight. So you get marvelous visual emblems wide open to parody or ridicule in lesser hands, stunningly presented: the dead couple like a bas relief sculpture on the floor of the drained pond; the naked male wrestlers curling into each other in a dark room, their forms outlined by dim light. Like it or not this was what was beautiful in Lawrence and the film pays it due homage without being subservient; Russell gets in his licks too. The aesthetic was so self-conscious that it can be delightfully hoisted up the flag-pole for a laugh, too, as in the wicked scene of Hermione and her parlor dancers.
There is no need to summarize the story of the two sets of lovers; just see it. The major actors have never been better. They become the complex characters, who while not totally explained are something better: totally present and alive. They pick up a big slice of the private and public aura of the period in their wake. Also, the film has the most incredible punch line at the end which Russell just perfectly transmits."