: : : The French Lieutenant's Woman

Story

Writer Harold Pinter (Betrayal) and director Karel Reisz (Isadora) take an experimental spin with John Fowles's magnificent novel set in Victorian England, and come up with something puzzling. Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep play the forbidden lovers in Fowles's story, but in a parallel story line they also play contemporary actors performing those characters in a movie production and having an affair of their own during off-hours. Got that? Considering that Fowles himself presents alternative endings in his novel, something equally eccentric is called for here. But little is accomplished by this intertwining of a fictional past and present, and the opportunity to do justice to a great story is lost. On the plus side, Irons and Streep are instantly striking as a natural couple on screen, and their presence makes watching this film easy enough despite the larger problems. --Tom Keogh

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen

Cast

Meryl StreepSarah/Anna
Jeremy IronsCharles Henry Smithson/Mike
Lynsey BaxterErnestina
Peter VaughanMr. Freeman
Leo McKernDr. Grogan
Richard GriffithsSir Tom
Michael ElwynMontague
David WarnerMurphy
Alun ArmstrongGrimes
Penelope WiltonSonia

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Karel Reisz
  • Producer: MGM/UA
  • Length: 127 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 1, 1981
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe12
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaSep 4, 2001
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