Imagine a troubled period romance (high-pedigree actors, written by a top-ranked playwright, directed by a renowned European) that’s not just about a pair of 19th Century lovers but also — simultaneously — about the actors playing these characters in a film in the midst of production who themselves are also immersed in a doomed affair. If such a film were to open in this, one of the weakest-feeling years in award-season history, it would blow everyone away. (People would be in a huge funk now if Birdman, Boyhood, Gone Girl and The Theory of Everything weren’t in contention) But in 1981 people took highly accomplished, adult-serving dramas almost for granted, and so The French Lieutenant’s Woman was only moderately well reviewed (a few major critics kicked it around) and was nominated for five Oscars…but won none. The big winner that year was On Golden Pond….Jesus. Meryl Streep, however, won Best Actress trophies from the L.A. Film Critics Association, the Golden Globes and BAFTA. I intend to watch a high-def rendering of this exceptional film, directed by Karel Reisz and adapted by Harold Pinter, this evening on Vudu.