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Women in Love

3.1 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Women in Love (2011) (DVD)

BBC Home Entertainment brings this lush, beautiful adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence classic to DVD 4/16, just in time for Mother's Day! Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher, Die Another Day) and Rachael Stirling (Young Victoria, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) star in this powerful adaptation of D. H. Lawrence's novel. Following the banning of his earlier novel, The Rainbow, D. H. Lawrence shocked his 1920 audience yet again with Women in Love. Combining some elements of both novels, this adaptation focuses on the lives of two sisters, Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen, as they struggle with their own loves, desires and passions and relationships with two friends, Rupert Birkin and Gerald Crich. As Ursula and Birkin's friendship and love develops, Gudrun and Gerald's stormy and destructive relationship begins to spiral out of control.



Two sisters navigate the vagaries of love in the BBC's distinctly feminist adaptation of two D.H. Lawrence novels, The Rainbow and Women in Love. Ursula Brangwen (Rachael Stirling, The Bletchley Circle), a schoolteacher who has just broken off with her self-centered fiancé, lives with her parents in Nottingham, while Gudrun (Rosamund Pike, Pride & Prejudice), an artist, lives the bohemian life--cigarettes, trousers, and casual sex--in London. Both women want what they can't have and dare to speak out for their desires: for Ursula, it's a sexually satisfying relationship, and for Gudrun, it's the love of a married man. They take after their mother (Saskia Reeves), who regrets the lack of passion in her marriage with their father (Shaun Acker). "Find love," she advises Ursula, "that burns your very soul."

Their experiences find male counterpoint in two figures that play more significant roles in the miniseries' second half: industrialist Gerald Crich (Joseph Mawle), a ladies' man, and school inspector Rupert Birkin (Rory Kinnear), a more sensitive type. After they return from World War I, Gerald sets his sights on Gudrun, who resists his advances; and Rupert pines for Ursula, except Hermione (Olivia Grant), a former lover, keeps getting in the way. If one union revolves around sex, the other does not (at times, Rupert seems more interested in men). Though the miniseries was made for television, Miranda Bowen directs Lawrence with as little inhibition as Ken Russell, whose theatrical version produced an instantly infamous naked wrestling scene between Oliver Reed and Alan Bates--and an Oscar for Glenda Jackson. If more restrained in some respects, this especially cinematic production makes miraculous use of its South African locations and features strong language and similarly explicit nudity involving the primary characters. Ursula sums things up best when she tells Gudrun, "Men cannot define you." --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Details

  • Actors: Rosamund Pike, Rachael Stirling, Joseph Mawle, Rory Kinnear
  • Directors: Miranda Bowen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 16, 2013
  • Run Time: 181 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BBXSP84
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,042 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on March 13, 2013
Format: DVD
In many ways, this literary adaptation (or interpretation) must be accepted on its own terms to be truly appreciated. If you are a D.H. Lawrence purist, you may be upset with some of the liberties taken with the source material. That said, I found this two-parter courtesy of BBC absolutely fascinating. Melding themes and story lines from both "The Rainbow" and "Women in Love" into something that feels distinctly different from both the book and the notorious Ken Russell film from 1969, this is more like a complete re-imaging from the feminine perspective. If that thought discourages you, maybe it's best that you steer clear. If, however, you enter into this experience with an open mind and a lack of preconceived expectations, there is much to be admired in this handsome film.

Presented in two segments, each part of "Women in Love" is somewhat self contained. In Part One, we meet the Brangwen family, their friends, and those in the surrounding community. The piece examines a number of diverse relationships in varying states of metamorphosis. The sisters who will become the centerpiece of the story (played by Rosamund Pike and Rachael Stirling) are part of a larger ensemble. And some of the supporting story threads are really great. I particularly thought that the depiction of the girls' parents was strong, memorable and completely satisfying. We also meet charming Gerald Crich (Joseph Mawle) and repressed Rupert Birkin (Rory Kinnear) among others. The story doesn't shy away from the unpleasantness, the sexuality, and/or the complexity of any of the central characters. As the foursome come together, despite some obvious difficulties, you know that happily ever after may not be in the offing.
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Format: DVD
Adapted from D.H. Lawrence's legendary controversial novel, WOMEN IN LOVE is a powerful 2-part miniseries that follows the romantic and erotic adventures of two sisters from Britain's industrial Midlands, Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen, during the years before, during and following World War I. This three-hour production also incorporates aspects of Lawrence's earlier banned novel, THE RAINBOW, which deals with the same characters.

This production, adapted by William Ivory and directed by Miranda Bowen, is remarkably different to the two films of Lawrence's novels that were directed by Ken Russell in 1969 (WOMEN IN LOVE) and 1989 (THE RAINBOW), both of which co-starred Glenda Jackson.

It's been several years since I've seen either movie, but as I recall, unlike in this new version, there were no World War I battle scenes, nor did the 1969 picture delve into the confused sexual identity of Rupert Birkin, played in the original version by Alan Bates and in this one by Rory Kinnear. Also, the final scenes in the movie took place on the mountains of Switzerland, whereas the ending of the miniseries is set in South Africa where the production was shot.

This new WOMEN IN LOVE is a magnificent, bold production, filled with exquisite performances by a superb cast. Rosamund Pike (Gundrun) and Rachael Stirling (Ursula) are two of the finest actresses working today, and each brings a unique vulnerability and sensuality to their individual roles. Indeed, Ms. Pike may give us a softer Gundrun than did Glenda Jackson, who won an Oscar for her portrayal, yet her Gundrun can be just as unfeeling and dangerous to the men she ensnares.
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Format: DVD
The production is well-made, I'll give it that, but it's terribly muddled. I'd read Women in Love and I was confused- newcomers will be at a complete loss.

The trouble is that this is a mash-up with The Rainbow. Originally DH Lawrence intended Women in Love to be part of The Rainbow; The Rainbow is the sexual saga of three generations of the Brangwen family, all looking for fulfilment. We get two generations here- the central characters Ursula (Rachel Stirling) and Gudrun (Rosamond Pike), and their parents Anna (Saskia Reeves) and Will (Ben Daniels). The whole thing starts off on a bit of a downer- Ursula is still getting over the events of The Rainbow, which are shown in flashback. Basically, she was used and abused by a charmless soldier, Anton Skrebensky (Joseph Kennedy)- who looks like he's from the 1970s rather than the 1900s. In The Rainbow, Anton is initially very charming, dazzling even in his cool self-assurance, but because this production doesn't have time for Anton, all characterisation is dispensed with. It is inconceivable to believe that Ursula would be attracted to such an overtly seedy man. Even though Kennedy has nowhere to go with the character, he could at least portray some superficial charisma, but no. From the doom and gloom of it all, you'd think you were watching a Thomas Hardy novel!

In addition to that, we flit occasionally to Anna and Will- who are minor in Women in Love. He wants Anna, Anna's too tired, he finds a girl but conscience strikes him! Readers of The Rainbow will remember that conscience only really strikes Will once he's contemplated rape. Reeves and Daniels are acceptable enough in the roles; Daniels is a lot closer to the character of Will than Christopher Gable was in the 1989 film.
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