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This Netflix Remake Finally Achieved the Sex Scenes Other Movies Tried To Do

There's a little flame between us that's always burning.

Lady Chatterley's Lover Emma Corrin Jack O'Connell

There is a lot of writing, planning, and directing that goes into making a sex scene. Many times movies toss in a sex scene to keep audiences interested without adding anything to the character development or story. Yes, they can be hot, but the film industry has held up male gaze standards when filming, keeping things pretty unimaginative. For example, the sex scene in House of Gucci was supposed to be sexy and explosive, yet it didn’t feel like anything new happened in it.

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This year, subverting the male gaze has been the goal of several female directors with mixed results. House of the Dragon improved upon the type of scenes we saw in its predecessor, Game of Thrones. Director Olivia Wilde touted the sex scenes in Don’t Worry Darling as being focused on female pleasure. But after watching the end of the movie, all things that could have been considered progressive and sexy were now tainted and icky. I thought all hope was lost for some decent female-focused sex scenes this year. However, Netflix’s remake of Lady Chatterley’s Lover premiered and blessed us with some of the best sex scenes ever filmed.

I fell for Lady Chatterley AND her lover

Before watching Lady Chatterley’s Lover, I didn’t know much about the plot. I knew it was based on a novel by D. H. Lawrence of the same name published widely in 1932. The novel drew immediate controversy for its adult content and themes. That is all I knew when I put on the movie. Little did I know, I would fall in love.

The plot centers on Constance Chatterley. Her husband became paralyzed from the waist down in the war and stopped seeing her as a person, causing their marriage to sour. Instead of wasting away in their country estate while her husband lords over the miners of the town, Constance (Emma Corrin) found love with the gamekeeper Oliver Mellors (Jack O’Connell).

Although the story may seem simple, the chemistry between Constance and Oliver and the brilliant direction by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre elevates the film into a work of art. The sex scenes are sexy and focus on the pleasures of Constance. But what made it even better was the intimacy building between the lovers. Oliver wants to see Constance’s face throughout the experience. After one scene he marveled at the magic of achieving their “peaks” at the same time. During one of their conversations, Constance tells Oliver that he has a tenderness to him (not gentleness). It perfectly sums up how they treat each other, tender and caring, even when things get a little rougher.

Unlike most sex scenes in movies, these ones go further than just being something visually stimulating. Constance and Oliver communicate their needs to each other, furthering their connection. The scenes literally show the intimacy of their relationship growing each time they are alone together. It also presents Constance going from a tired shadow of a person to someone full of joy and enjoying life. Mixed in with a montage of sex scenes, we see the pair acting like a real couple who love each other. There is laughing while sitting by the fire, vows made in a field of moss, and streaking in the rain.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of sexiness and full-frontal nudity, but the sex scenes step up the story in the film. Lady Chatterley reimagined the sex scene as something beautiful, which felt refreshingly more realistic than almost everything else out there.

(featured image: Netflix)

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D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.