11 May 2015

Far from the Madding Crowd

Far From the Madding Crowd 2015
  • Director: Thomas Vinterberg
  • Based on novel by Thomas Hardy
  • Cast: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, Juno Temple, Michael Sheen,
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Carey Mulligan – The Great Gatsby, Never Let Me Go, Public Enemies, An Education
    • Tom Sturridge – The Boat that Rocked, Being Julia
    • Juno Temple – The Dark Knight Rises, The Other Boleyn Girl, Atonement, Notes on a Scandal
    • Michael Sheen – Frost/Nixon, Blood Diamond, The Queen, Kingdom of Heaven, Wilde, Mary Reilly, Othello
  •  Why?  Hours to wait in Penzance before boarding the sleeper to Paddington Station in London.
  • Seen:  May 5, 2015 at the Merlin Cinema in Penzance, Cornwall. 

The 1967 version with Julie Christie and Alan Bates is a lot to live up to.  I’m sure they’re aware of that.
Dorset in 1870.  Independent young Bathsheba Everdene does not want a husband but she has three ardent suitors. Two of them are good honourable solid men. The third is a dashing red-uniformed soldier. Guess which one she chooses.
Thomas Hardy does not usually make things easy for his characters and his endings are not always happy. I won’t tell you the ending.
Dorset is beautiful. The scenery in the film is absolutely stunning; anything else would have been unacceptable.
Does it live up to the 1967 version?
Not fair. No one can live up to Christie and Bates. The three men do well in their roles, especially Schoenaerts, though he cannot top Bates as Gabriel Oak, and Sturridge isn’t as good as Terence Stamp as the soldier.  Sheen is good but he’s too young and too handsome to be quite convincing as the neighbouring rich farmer Boldwood. Mulligan does her best as Bathsheba, which is good but not enough. Julie Christie smoulders. Mulligan purses her lips, wrinkles her brow and smiles prettily.
It’s worth seeing but if you can find the 1967 version see that first.

2 ½ * of 5


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