The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) - Drama, Romance

Hohum Score



Wife and husband, both actors, play a couple in love from the Victorian era. Soon they begin to feel that fiction interweaves into reality.

Director: Karel Reisz
Stars: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons
Length: 124 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 13 out of 65 found boring (20%)

One-line Reviews (50)

While the Victorian society is suffocating in its prim and proper moralizing, relationships are not necessarily easier in the liberal modern era either, as it is always difficult to follow one's heart without hurting someone in the process.

Sounds pretty boring.

The 20th century story is about two bored actors who engage in their affair simply as a distraction from the tedium of making a movie.

Streep and Irons are fantastic in all their roles but the script is dull, the movie drags on forever and the parallels between the two stories are pointless and groaningly obvious.

Playing the woman who has been tarnished by her past, the movie takes an unexpected turn and she manages to bring to life an energetic and mildly touching performance that spurs on the last three quarters of an hour.

According to the novel, Sarah is "not beautiful by any period's standards", but with her porcelain complexion and delicate features, Meryl Streep is stunning.

With the director, they have contrived to quote great paintings.

A lonely and penniless nanny takes advantage of a generous rich man, then disappears from the hotel room he has arranged for her in another town after they have passionate sex and she admits to being a virgin, placing a lie to her elaborately contrived French Lieutenant lover story.

However, though I realize I am in the minority and the movie's praises were universally sung, I personally did not care for it, finding it somewhat boring, occasionally confusing, and worst of all, NOT emotionally engaging.

If you normally find yourself disappointed by novel adaptations, look no further than 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' to show you that when a work is adapted properly, the results can be stunning.

Grogan has diagnosed Sarah as suffering from what he calls "obscure melancholy", a condition which manifests itself in intense guilt feelings and in the masochistic tendency to inflict emotional pain on herself.

The problems- it is too long and the story turns into a mush mash of themes once you get past the early reels.

In that case, I might have found their tale more compelling.

This film is visually fascinating as well as dramatically satisfying.

And the film itself is also banal.

As boring as it gets .

Complex yet Stunning .

Boring film .

The jump editing between present day and Victorian times is jarring and adds confusion.

If you are in a hospital bed or retired you might enjoy this slow-moving long journey.

Charles is a paleontologist, engaged to be married to a proper young lady, Ernestine, of good family and dowry, when he is bewitched by the fascinating, outcast Sarah and begins a passionate affair.

Although not an outstanding film, it is still one worth watching and one which deserved the praise and accolades it received.

If you are a Meryl Streep fan, she gives a knockout performance and the movie is worth watching for her alone.

I was quickly reminded of how boring and drawn out it is, and even though it's beautiful I needed something w/ more of a pace.

This film is so dull that it sucks the energy out of anyone who watches it.

I am sure many people will mistake it for "boredom".

The modern relationship between Anna and Mike simply bored me.

Much of the story is compelling and passionate with the Victorian storyline in my mind being a triumph, carried by the searing chemistry between Streep and Irons.

the forbidden Victorian passions in sharp contrast to the not very passionate, sort of half bored, casual affair of the modern actors.

The latter - sexually repressed man meets innately mysterious woman - is drearily predictable - he's even an evolutionist, a depressingly common and obvious career choice for characters of this sort; while Meryl Streep's persona seems to owe more to pre-Raphaelite romanticism than the real world.

That said most of the other characters seemed disjointed or knew more of what was going on than we are shown.

The film-within-the-film is more than just an experimental device - it is actually a key feature of how the film works and part of what makes it so fascinating and enjoyable.

I caught this snoozer in a theatre and had trouble staying awake!

Intriguing and compelling piece of British heritage drama .

Brooding, classy, evocative melodrama.

Visually fascinating yet boring as hell .

I was in a state of confusion for the first few minutes of the movie, what on earth was going on?!

I found this pair unsympathetic and their affair uninteresting.

A compelling romantic drama that does effectively illustrate the difference between Hollywood and Reality, and how the viewer will inevitably prefer one over the other...

"The French Lieutenant's Woman" has an fascinating and careful art direction and sceneries, beautifully made, recreating England of the 19th Century is great details; costumes and clothes are also great; the cinematography is impeccable and one of the most wonderful works I've ever seen.

Incredibly dull movie.

However, in this film, the outer story is quite limited (and Jeremy Irons appears to be playing the same role in both tales), while the inner film is a straight costume drama as they were made twenty years ago, stodgy and unsubtle in both direction and plot.

While the cinematography and locations was visually inspiring, the plot was uninteresting and slow with little pacing to keep the viewer engaged.

The pace is slow and peaceful, allowing the romances to develop without haste.

The cinematography, lighting, shots, locations are outstanding, yet make the story move slowly and beautifully, yet the story is hard to follow and makes u so bored that it is hard to separate story lines.

Every camera shot is breathtaking - this includes both stories.

The two stories in the film are juxtaposed to provide intriguing contrasts and comparisons.

The movie is cleverly written and thoroughly engaging, although sometimes the movie does tend to drag on a little.

I have been expecting a cheesy, unrealistic and boring women's movie.

The contrasts between the two couples born 100 years apart make for one of the most intriguing films of the early 1980s, and the performances by Irons and Streep are predictably outstanding.