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The French Lieutenant's Woman Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Tom Keogh

Writer Harold Pinter (Betrayal) and director Karel Reisz (Isadora) take an experimental spin with John Fowles's magnificent novel set in Victorian England, and come up with something puzzling. Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep play the forbidden lovers in Fowles's story, but in a parallel story line they also play contemporary actors performing those characters in a movie production and having an affair of their own during off-hours. Got that? Considering that Fowles himself presents alternative endings in his novel, something equally eccentric is called for here. But little is accomplished by this intertwining of a fictional past and present, and the opportunity to do justice to a great story is lost. On the plus side, Irons and Streep are instantly striking as a natural couple on screen, and their presence makes watching this film easy enough despite the larger problems.

Academy Awards

The French Lieutenant's Woman received Academy Award nominations Actress (Meryl Streep), Writing (Best Screenplay based on material from another medium; Harold Pinter), Art Direction/Set Decoration (Assheton Gorton - Art Direction, Ann Mollo - Set Decoration), Costume Design (Tom Rand), and Film Editing (John Bloom).


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Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Karel Reisz

Stars: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Leo McKern, Hilton McRae, Emily Morgan, Charlotte Mitchell, Lynsey Baxter

Released: September 18, 1981

Availability: DVD VHS

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