The French Lieutenant’s Woman
“You have planted a dagger in me, and your damned freedom gives you license to twist it in my heart!"
Meryl Streep received her first nomination for Best Actress in a film that one would think had been lost in time if not for the recent Criterion Collection release — Karel Reisz’s 1981 film “The French Lieutenant’s Woman.” She lost to Katherine Hepburn in “On Golden Pond,” which makes sense, but Streep’s performance is still a fascinating one. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Meryl Streep series with Reisz’s film. We talk about how the film worked for us — Pete found it painfully boring and Andy, while appreciating it, ultimately didn’t really connect with it. We discuss the intricacies of the script and how Harold Pinter adapted the ‘unfilmmable’ novel by John Fowles upon which it was based, enjoying the design of the screenplay structure quite a bit. We chat about the strengths in what is going on in the two parallel stories and what keeps us from completely connecting with it. We talk about the actors — notably Streep and Jeremy Irons — and what they bring to the table in these two roles. And we deliberate on the proper way to pronounce ‘lieutenant.’ It’s an interesting film that ultimately didn’t click with either of us, even if we could appreciate some of the work in it. And it brings our total number of films discussed on the regular show to 200! So check out the movie then tune in — we have a great chat about it!
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