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Film Review: Far From the Madding Crowd

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Far From the Madding Crowd

★★★★☆

When it was first announced Thomas Vinterberg was directing David Nicholl’s script of this Thomas Hardy classic, I was intrigued what far-out weird stuff he would do to the story of farmer and land owner Bathsheba Everdene and the men that enter her life. The end result isn’t a staid and suffocating period piece, but it is a little bit more conventional than fans of, say, Festen might expect.

Carey Mulligan shines in the central role, successfully swaying between enthusiastic and brittle, bright and bruised, forthright and brooding. I’ve always been a major fan of hers and whilst this may not be the best thing she has ever done, it’s certainly one of the biggest and most demanding.

A real highlight is Matthias Schoenaerts, who smoulders around like a walking, slowly setting sunset, shining his sensual light on every scene he is in. If ever there’s been a masterclass in doing a lot without saying too much, this is it.

In the end, the real star is Charlotte Bruus Christensen’s stunning cinematography. She really injects emotional drive and energy into her images, pushing the story into intimate corners through emphasising the claustrophobic-nature of interiors and the expansive possibilities of the Dorset landscape vistas. This movie may not end up with a classic status to match the 1967 adaptation, but at least it looks good.

Far From the Madding Crowd is in cinemas now. Watch the trailer below:

 

 

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