Lady Jane | Chicago Reader

Lady Jane

The direction is credited to Trevor Nunn, who did the stage version of Nicholas Nickleby, but Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet, Endless Love) is surely the spiritual auteur of this treacly 1985 teen romance, played out in Elizabethan drag. The story of a young noblewoman drafted to act as a puppet queen after the death of Edward VI provides plenty of opportunity for the opposition of adolescent idealism and adult hypocrisy endemic to the genre, and there's lots of soft-focus sex when Lady Jane weds (and reforms) a dreamy young wastrel. But Nunn lays on his cultural alibis rather too thickly, and the film quickly degenerates into dull historical pageantry, unrelieved by humor or a genuine epic expansiveness. 142 min.

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