Jeremy Irons pulls off an Anglo pedophile in a completely natural manner. Iron’s effeminate nature has always worked to his advantage when playing sexual deviants (I.e. David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers). His role as Humbert Humbert in Lolita is “fitting” to say the least. I found disgust in his ability to masquerade as a man of high manners while concealing the soul of a conspiratorial coward. Young Lolita (played by the talented Dominique Swain) sees through Humbert as clearly as Humbert would like to see through her dress.
Unlike Kubrick’s version of Lolita, the character of Clare Quily has a much more minor role. Lyne’s version of the film primarily focuses on Humbert Humbert and the pathetic infatuated state that guides his life into hopelessness. Stanley Kubrick seemed more focused on Clare Quily because he no doubt wanted to give Peter Sellers more screen time. Chameleon Sellers would have never accepted such a minor role (when comparing to the novel and remake).
Lyne’s version of Lolita is a worthy update of the novel. I found more intensity in his version than Kubrick’s version (and I generally believe less is more). Adrian Lyne has proven that he has the ability to make the most odd of situations erotic (I.e. Jacob’s Ladder). Although I still enjoy Kubrick’s version, it is somewhat dated and lagging. I am a product of the degenerate age. Lyne’s Lolita is worthy of being considered one of the best contemporary erotic films.