Lady Chatterley's Lover


strong sex, nudity, language

D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover has been the subject of multiple film and television adaptations over the years, since it was first published in the 1920s. Netflix’s 2022 version stars Emma Corrin as Connie, the eponymous wealthy married woman, with Jack O’Connell as Oliver, the gamekeeper with whom she has a passionate affair.

Key classification issue: sex

Given the novel’s long history and previous adaptations, audiences knew to expect scenes of a sexual nature when approaching this latest iteration. From a classification perspective, however, some of the sex scenes were challenging, such as an extended sequence in a forest in which Connie and Oliver play with power dynamics and sexual language that alludes to BDSM. The scene, however, does not feature explicit detail and there is never any question over consent or communication between the two. Instead, it shows how their desire transcends class and social status.

Context is similarly integral to how nudity is depicted. One particular sequence features extended full frontal nudity as the two lovers run through the rain in the landscape surrounding Oliver’s cottage. Elsewhere, they have sex in fields and forests. Their nudity is therefore evocative of the natural world, and contrasts Oliver to Connie’s husband, who is involved in factories and industrial development.

Our research has shown that people are more accepting of sex scenes and nudity at 15 when they promote healthy portrayals of sexual relationships, compared to more exploitative or pornographic material. Participants in our guidelines research were supportive of a 15 rating for these reasons. While strong, the sex scenes in Lady Chatterley’s Lover are not graphic and are often tender and romantic. We classified the film 15 for strong sex, nudity, language.