Bathsheba not easily per­suaded

The Tribune (NZ) - - MOVIES -

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

Rated M Di­rec­tor Thomas Vin­ter­berg 1hr 58min Re­viewed by Peter Lampp ★★★ 1⁄ 2

Ro­man­tic nov­els by Thomas Hardy were never on my literary scope. But his imag­i­na­tive plot about a woman farmer with three love in­ter­ests has plenty of legs, brought to the screen for the fourth time by another Thomas, Dan­ish di­rec­tor Thomas Vin­ter­berg.

Two hours was plenty to keep me con­cen­trat­ing, if at times me­an­der­ing through nice English coun­try­sides, and frus­trat­ing be­cause Carey Mul­li­gan as Bathsheba Ever­dene (what a

mouth­ful) just wouldn’t suc­cumb.

Mul­li­gan, 30, is well cast. With that cute snub nose, she vac­il­lates be­tween a rus­tic, tomboy­ish farmer of in­her­ited means who jumps into the sheep dip with the work­ers, and lady of the manor.

Once she in­her­its a great farm, Mul­li­gan skil­fully takes her char­ac­ter up the so­cial or­der.

Early on she sort of re­buffs the ap­proach of her neigh­bour, a farmer of mod­est means, Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoe­naerts). He is the macho hunk al­ways in the back­ground ready to come to the res­cue, and there is a spark.

Wealthy neigh­bour Wil­lian Bold­wood (Michael Sheen) plays a sym­pa­thetic role as a prim and too proper suitor.

Tom Stur­ridge doesn’t pull it off as the third love in­ter­est, Troy.

The 1870s drama was last filmed in 1967, so the come­back was timely, well made and warmed me up on a chilly win­ter’s evening.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Matthias Schoe­naerts plays one of Carey Mul­li­gan’s love in­ter­ests in the latest film adap­ta­tion of Thomas Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd.

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