Digital Spy - April 2020
Normal People’s treatment of sex, and of Marianne and Connell’s naked bodies within that, is exceptionally tender. Very little is hidden or left to the imagination and yet, it’s never crass or gratuitous, directors Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald mining their mastery of filmmaking to ensure that those moments stay with you for all of the right reasons.
When the pair first have sex, the occasion hums with anticipation, their nervous excitement palpable.
They both want it but Marianne vocalises that desire – “Now can we take our clothes off?” – simultaneously endearing and empowering.
They laugh as they struggle to remove her bra – a minute detail that roots the moment firmly in reality.
It’s Marianne’s first time and Connell asks her if she’s okay, that she’s to tell him to stop if it hurts. As you watch you cannot help but think back to the beauty and thrill and terror of losing your own virginity.
Marianne asks for a condom and there’s that awkward but familiar lull while he slips it out of the wrapper.