The French Lieutenant's Woman
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John Fowles' original novel The French Lieutenant's Woman was distinguished by a literary technique that involved telling a story of Victorian sexual and social oppression within the bounds of a 1970s viewpoint. How does one convey this time-frame dichotomy on film? The decision made by director Karel Reisz and Harold Pinter was to frame Fowles' basic plot within a "modern" context of their own making. While we watch as Sarah (Meryl Streep), a 19th-century Englishwoman ruined by an affair with a French lieutenant, enters into another disastrous relationship with… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A shallow, confusing and vexing film."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"the film comes off as an academic exercise instead of a living, breathing testament to the ideas it presents."
‑ Dan Jardine, Daily-Reviews
"Playing a dual (Oscar-nominated) role, Meryl Streep is much more convincing in the contemporay tale."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"It may be a true "chick flick," but as far as those movies go, you could do a hell of a lot worse."
‑ Scott Weinberg, Apollo Guide
"A gripping psychological study of the war between the sexes that asks the question: Are we happier, wiser, more liberated, than the Victorian characters in the story?"
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Characters don't talk to each other -- they talk to the camera"
‑ Christopher Null,
More reviews for The French Lieutenant's Woman on Rotten Tomatoes