The French Lieutenant's Woman Movie Review

If you can remember anything about this 1981 movie, it's probably the image of Meryl Streep standing at the end of a pier, threatened to be blown into the sea by a horrendous storm.

Now released on DVD, the complicated tale of The French Lieutenant's Woman tells us of a 19th century English woman named Sarah (Streep), a woman who finds herself at the bottom of the social strata because she has had an affair (and been tossed aside) by a French military officer. When an engaged biologist named Charles (Jeremy Irons) encounters her on that pier, he becomes immediately entranced, and soon they are engaged in an affair.

But wait, there's more! Because in the modern day, we discover a pair of actors (Streep and Irons again) who are starring in the lead roles of Sarah and Charles for the movie about their lives. And wouldn't you know it: they also embark on a very similar affair, two centuries later.

Overblown and totally full of itself, it's hard to really like Lieutenant's very much. Every character has a passionate soliloquy in every scene, to the point where characters don't talk to each other -- they talk to the camera instead. Charles's infatuation with Sarah doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but the modern day actors are just two typical Hollywood types, bed hopping for the hell of it. It's lushly photographed and filled with a dripping score of string duets -- all of which fits the bill nicely but doesn't really offer anything new.

Incidentally, the novel and especially the film are known as an inspiration of the modern Goth movement -- the idea of the very pale woman with questionable morals who draws dark self-portraits and is outcast by society. Guess you gotta have a role model.


The French Lieutenant's Woman Rating

" OK "

Rating: R, 1981


More Meryl Streep

Katie Holmes Shimmered In Pale Pink At 'The Giver' NY Premiere - Part 3

The stars of 'The Giver' were snapped on the red carpet at the New York premiere of the movie at the Zeigfeld Theater. They were...

'The Giver' Stars Meryl Streep And Brenton Thwaites Spotted At The NY Premiere - Part 2

The cast of teen dystopia 'The Giver' make their arrivals at the New York premiere held at the Ziegfeld Theater. Among them were lead stars...

Mamma Mia, Sweeney Todd? Which Is The Best Musical Movie?

Disney is heading in a new direction with its Christmas film offering this year by producing its first theatrical adaptation of a Broadway musical, Into...

Who Is The Young Actor Brenton Thwaites?

An impressive cast of screen veterans, promising young newcomers, a multi-millions selling pop star and Katie Holmes have assembled for the dystopian sci-fi pic The...


The Giver: What Do We Need To Know?

American social science film, The Giver, was recently released on 15 August in the USA and is due to hit UK cinemas in the next...

Weinstein's 'The Giver' Relies on Experience of Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep

There were nervous, twitchy looks around the various Hollywood studios when Harvey Weinstein announced he was dipping his toe into the young-adult genre. That said,...

Let's Take A Sneak Peak 'Into The Woods'

Disney’s Christmas offering this year comes in the form of a bewitching fairy tale based on Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical, Into the Woods. Set in...

The Homesman Trailer

George Briggs is a claim jumper who has only ever known a dishonest life. When he finds himself in serious trouble (sat astride an impatient...