By on May 5th, 2015

Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)

Far from the Madding Crowd (2015) Dir. Thomas Vinterberg – QFT Belfast from 1st May

Who’s in it? Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge

What’s it about? This old school adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel by the director of critically acclaimed human drama The Hunt (2012) is the fourth big screen version of the literary classic and the first since the 1967 film starring Julie Christie. Set in Victorian England the film follows the fortunes of independent and headstrong farm owner Bathsheba Everdeen as she finds herself the focus of the romantic intentions of three very different men – after she inherits land and becomes a woman of some property – bulking sheep farmer Gabriel Oak (Schoenaerts), whom she had formerly refused to marry, reckless army officer Frank Troy (Sturridge) and prosperous and respected gentleman William Boldwood (Sheen). The film explores Bathsheba’s differing relationships with the three men and examines her feelings towards and her motivations for being involved with each of them as she attempts to decide which of them she truly loves. Far from the Madding Crowd addresses timeless questions concerning the nature of romantic entanglements amid social convention as well as landing a blow for modern feminist sensibilities in a traditionally male-centric Victorian setting.

Memorable Moments? In one scene farm owner Bathsheba gets down and dirty in a pool of mud to the surprise and delight of the local farm hands as she stubbornly helps hulky sheep farmer Gabriel after he goads her for apparently not wanting to get her hands dirty.

Look who’s talking: ‘Extremely well done and well acted, it’s an attractive, appealing, involving adaptation, just not as iconic as the ’60s film.’ – Empire

Like that? Try this: Jane Eyre (2011) proved to be an emotionally refined, revisionist period drama as well as a refreshing departure from the corsets-in-the-country genre.

Trivia Pursuit:Fake sheep had originally been used in one scene only to be replaced by the real thing.

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