Bathsheba not easily persuaded
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.
Matthias Schoenaerts plays one of Carey Mulligan’s love interests in the latest film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd.