|THE RAINBOW (director/writer: Ken Russell; screenwriters: Vivian Russell/based on the novel by D. H. Lawrence; cinematographer: Billy Williams; editor: Peter Davies; music: Carl Davis; cast: Amanda Donohoe (Winifred Inger), Sammi Davis (Ursula Brangwen), Paul McGann (Anton Skrebensky), David Hemmings (Uncle Henry), Glenda Jackson (Anna Brangwen), Christopher Gable (Will Brangwen), Jim Carter (Mr. Harby), Dudley Sutton (MacAllister); Runtime: 113; MPAA Rating:R; producer: Ken Russell; Artisan Entertainment; 1989-UK)|
lackluster and cliche-ridden coming-of-age
romantic drama that's based on the 1915 novel
by D. H. Lawrence."
by Dennis Schwartz
Russell' ("Altered States"/"The Music
Lovers"/"Gothic") second interpretation of
a Lawrence novel, after Women in
Love, is an over-simplified, lackluster and
cliche-ridden coming-of-age romantic drama that's
based on the 1915 novel by D. H. Lawrence.
It's co-written by Russell and his wife Vivian. The
pic relates how in the strict bourgeois class setting
of British society in the early 1900s it was difficult
to become what was not expected from birth, and to
escape one's fate would take a revolutionary act. It
follows the path of teen school-girl, the spirited,
independent minded and bright Ursula
Brangwen (Sammi Davis), the daughter of
Anna (Glenda Jackson) and her artisan
woodcarver father Will (Christopher
Midlands dwelling Ursula engages in a conventional
on-and-off again romance with dashing young
engineering soldier Lt. Anton
Skrebensky (Paul McGann),
introduced to her by her wealthy industrialist uncle
(David Hemmings). Anton sees the pretty Ursula as his
obedient trophy wife, and wishes to marry her and take
her with him on his next assignment in India.
instead chooses to be a teacher, and unwinds from her
restricted upbringing with a free sexual relationship
with the school's unconventional swimming teacher
Winifred (Amanda Donohoe). Winifred
warns her "The best you'll ever get from a
man is passion," and not even that will
last." The school is run by the despotic
headmaster Harby (Jim Carter), who sets a sexually
repressive atmosphere that becomes unbearable for the
lavishly photographed and well-acted by Sammi Davis,
it's watchable but duller than it should be for a D.
H. Lawrence work.
REVIEWED ON 2/24/2014 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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