Far from the Madding Crowd
Out Now On-Demand
Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts lead this adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 literary classic that delves into the complicated nature of passion, attachment and independence through a woman’s relationship with three men. From the director of the Oscar-nominated The Hunt, co-starring Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon), Tom Sturridge (On the Road) and Juno Temple (Atonement).
- David Nicholls (based on the novel by Thomas Hardy)
Rating: M Sex scenes
A handsome adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 serial-turned-novel, bolstered by top-shelf casting and a star turn by the English countryside. After discovering an uncle has bequeathed his farm to her, orphaned heroine Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan, The Great Gatsby) is determined she will run the estate with the same tenacity as a man, and proves successful.
Along the way, three men fall for her many charms—swarthy, loyal shepherd Gabriel (buff Belgian Matthias Schoenaerts); her severe neighbour, William Boldwood (the ever reliable Michael Sheen), and the handsome, roguish soldier Sergeant Troy (Tom Sturridge), who proves that women have been falling for lame bad-boy shtick for centuries.
‘Plucky’ is the term usually used to describe characters like Bathsheba, the type of role all but bludgeoned to death by the BBC and Keira Knightley’s ubiquitous pout and heaving bosom. But it does Mulligan a disservice in this instance. Her Bathsheba is powerful in a way that still feels relaxed and assured, even after tragedy befalls her in a series of dramatic twists and turns. She packs a chapter’s worth of meaning into a cocked eyebrow and the fleeting appearance of a dimple and possesses one of the most superb speaking voices in film.
It is very easy to accept that men will lay marriage proposals at her feet like offerings upon an altar, and as easy to understand why she must decline on account of being the boss and having no need of the pianos they keep offering her as enticing chattels.
There’s a purity to the performances and what should seem like played-out dramatic tropes feel fresh, reflected in the film's stunning rural photography and costuming. Like fine Scandinavian furniture, simple forms made from good materials have fashioned this period drama into a joyful film experience.
Little White Lies (UK)
New York Times
Time Out London
Solid period film, slightly plodding. More BBC Sunday night TV fare than a feature film.
Spirited and full of charm
A charming film about the desire for love and for freedom, made ever more so by the talented Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdene. Matthias Schoenaert's portrayal of Gabriel Oak was a good fit with an endearing performance. Micheal Sheen as William Boldwood and Tom Sturridge as Sgt. Francis (Frank) did a superb job of bringing the affluent lonely older man and the reckless playboy sergeant to life. Lovely expansive shots of the countryside and strong costume design lifted this film even higher. Some amusing moments shifting quickly between very intense ones with a plot twist sure to surprise. Well worth seeing even if you aren't an aficionado of Thomas Hardy novels, as this movie adaption, may indeed, just turn you into one!
Beautiful Adaptation, maybe would have been better as a mini series
This was a thoroughly enjoyable adaptation of classic piece of literature. The film lead, Carey Mulligan was amazing and her performance really shone through. The only issue I had, is a problem found in many film adaptations of books, is it felt like so much was missed by fitting it into a small time frame. In saying that, it was still a great story that flowed well.
A great film about a young woman who inherits a farm. Over the years she has three suitors vying for her affection. Carey Mulligan plays the young woman beautifully. She is one of my favourite actresses. She plays a very strong willed woman who wont be tied down by a man. If you love period films and are a fan of Carey Mulligan this is for you. I highly recommend it
Victorian love story
I'm sure the ladies will give this more stars than me.
I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to this movie. When is it coming I wanted to take my Husband it's his birthday and tomorrow I wanted to go to the Hoyts at sunnybank but it's not on there so when is it?
Carey Mulligan is breath-taking
The film is very old-school, but the nature beauty and Carey Mulligan could make up for the outdated perception of human relations and love.
Charming Period Drama
Charming period drama with likeable characters. Satisfying plot & intrigue. Lovely English scenery. Well worth viewing & even one for the blokes. Thanks Flicks!
Entertaining and Evocative Period Drama.
A visually lush evocation of Victorian English life and Countryside. The plot centres around orphaned heiress Bathsheba (a pitch-perfect Carey Mulligan) and her relationship with three prospective suitors.
With the drama often unfurling apace, the film is occasionally punctuated with what sometimes seem slightly bizarre twists of fate and fancy, perhaps intensified by the compression of an eventful novel into 2 hours of cinema, necessarily omitting a more complex rendering of characters and dialogue. By turns Bathsheba appears headstrong and mature, and then uncertain and immature. - Maybe endearingly slightly bonkers, or just living in denial.
It also remains unclear quite which part of England the good shepherd and suitor Gabriel Cob (otherwise capably played by Matthias Schoenaerts) derives his accent from !
Nonetheless it's an entertaining and sumptuously costumed period romp.
Undoubtedly a yarn that would have enthralled 19th Century readers, it's a curious choice for a director capable of delivering sharp modern Scandinavian drama like 'The Hunt'.
It sat with me longer than I thought.
Not a great fan of this era and genre but liked this much more than I thought going into it. It was frisky and a bit funny.