In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.
During the early years of Nazi occupation of France in World War II, romance blooms between Lucile Angellier (Michelle Williams), a French villager, and Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts), a German soldier.
Kristin Scott Thomas,
Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.
Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?
The story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching willfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba's choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love - as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance.Written by
At the beginning of the movie, Bathsheba Everdene is shown riding along sidesaddle. Suddenly (probably to show her disregard of convention) she throws her leg across and gallops away astride, like a man. However, there is a lip on the off side of a side saddle that does not allow for comfortable cross-saddle riding. We see the saddle with its horn (leaping head), but we also see a stirrup on the off side. A sidesaddle does not have stirrups on both sides, only on the near side. See more »
"Bathsheba Everdene." "Bathsheba." The name has always sounded strange to me. I don't like to hear it said out loud. My parents died when I was very young, so there's no one to ask where it came from. I've grown accustomed to being on my own. Some say even too accustomed. Too independent.
See more »
Solid, well-made period drama- but not the definitive version
This film, by the Danish director Thomas Vinterberg, is the first cinematic adaptation of Thomas Hardy's "Far from the Madding Crowd" since John Schlesinger's famous version in 1967. The story is too well- known for me to set out the plot at any length, but it revolves around the adventures of Bathsheba Everdene, a young female landowner in Victorian Dorset, and the three men who love her. These are Gabriel Oak, a humble shepherd, William Boldwood, a neighbouring farmer, and Frank Troy, a sergeant in a cavalry regiment.
Vinterberg has set himself a difficult task. Schlesinger's film was a landmark of British cinema, marking the beginning of what I have come to think of the "heritage cinema" style of film-making. In my eyes at least, and I suspect in the eyes of many others, it has become the definitive version; I cannot re-read the novel- it is a favourite of mine and I have read it several times- without picturing Bathsheba as Julie Christie, Gabriel as Alan Bates, Troy as Terence Stamp or Boldwood as Peter Finch.
Like Schlesinger, Vinterberg sticks fairly closely to Hardy's story, although of necessity some minor episodes have had to be omitted. There were one or two touches I didn't really care for, such as the scene where Troy grabs Bathsheba by the crotch. In the novel Hardy describes Troy's seduction of the young woman with great delicacy. This is not just a question of Victorian prudery, but also of psychological realism. A girl as independent and determined as Bathsheba would have resented such a crude approach; had Troy attempted it he would doubtless have got his face slapped for his pains. I also felt that this version rather inflated the social status of both Bathsheba and Boldwood. In the novel both are prosperous farmers, but nothing more. Here they live in the sort of style which would suggest she is the Lady of the Manor and he a wealthy aristocrat.
Hardy's novel is, among other things, a celebration of the English countryside, and this aspect is brought out well here. Like Schlesinger's, the film is visually attractive with some striking photography of the rural landscapes, often seen bathed in a soft, golden glow. On the acting side I was most impressed by Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel. His interpretation is rather different from Bates's, making his character perhaps more genteel and less rough-hewn, but still a man of great sensitivity and integrity. The Belgian-born Schoenaerts speaks flawless English with no hint of a foreign inflection, although it is noticeable that, unlike Bates, he does not attempt a West Country accent. Possibly wisely- English regional accents can be notoriously difficult for foreign-born actors.
On the other hand, I was less impressed by Tom Sturridge who makes an unmemorable Troy, lacking the roguishness and devil-may-care charm which Stamp brought to the role. Michael Sheen is better as Boldwood, but never quite matches Finch's desperate, nervous intensity. The difference, perhaps, is that Sheen's Boldwood is obsessed by Bathsheba whereas Finch's is almost literally possessed by her. Carey Mulligan has plenty of experience in films of this type, having inherited the crown formerly worn by Helena Bonham-Carter and Keira Knightley, that of Reigning Queen of Period Drama. She has been praised for her performance here, but personally I preferred Christie's rather more imperious and headstrong interpretation. Vinterberg's film is a generally solid, well- made piece of period drama, but for me it will not replace Schlesinger's as the definitive version. 7/10
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this