Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Genre: Drama/ Romance
Runtime: 119 minutes
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge, Juno Temple, Jessica Barden
Description: In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Shoenaerts), a sheep farmer; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor.
Review: Danish director Thomas Vinterberg has made some great movies, like “Festen” and especially “Jagten”. Three years after the lather, Vinterberg takes a trip beyond the borders with “Far From the Madding Crowd”. He manages to create a good balance between classic and contemporary storytelling.
The movie, based on a novel by Thomas Hardy, centers young Bathsheba Everdene who constantly has doubts about her different lovers and her independence. In the very beginning of the film she is asked to marry to charming sheep farmer Gabriel Oak. He offers her a comfortable life, but decides to decline. Bathsheba doesn’t want to be anyone’s wife. Gabriel eventually loses his sheep and Bathsheba inherits a farm herself. When Gabriel helps Bathsheba to save her famr from a fire, she hires him. In the meantime Bathsheba gets the attention from the aristocratic widower Boldwood and the young soldier Francis Troy.
Although the plot sounds like your average soap opera, director Vinterberg and script writer David Nicholls do manage to make a good book to move adaptation. You see the differences between classes and the feministic character of Bathsheba. It’s great to see such a strong woman again in a costume drama, who chooses independence over the security of having a husband.
Vinterberg did make some big changes though. In Hardy’s book, he often lets certain situations be decided by faith. Like a wrongly send letter or missing a wedding. In the movie that’s not as present. And the crucial role of character Fanny Robin is also underused.
Even the small criticism make this a very good movie. The cinematography is good and also the acting by Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts and especially Michael Sheen are worth watching “Far From the Madding Crowd”.
Rating: 4/ 5