The role of a gawky ungainly plain Jane [in this adaptation of the novel by Margaret Forster] is a natural for Lynn Redgrave’s talents, and she frequently overwhelms her costars by sheer force of personality.
She’s sharing a slovenly apartment with an attractive, brittle and promiscuous girl friend (Charlotte Rampling). And whenever a lover is being entertained in the communal bedroom, Redgrave takes herself off to the home of her parents’ wealthy employer. Girl friend becomes pregnant, opts for marriage instead of another abortion, but when mother-to-be is in hospital, husband (Alan Bates) realizes he chose the wrong girl.
James Mason, as the wealthy employer, attempts to adopt a father figure in relations to the girl, but is actually nothing more than a conventional old roue.
Redgrave has a pushover of a part, and never misses a trick to get that extra yock, whether it’s her first passionate encounter with Alan Bates or her fielding of Mason’s amorous overtures.