FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 2 pm – Free
Thomas Hardy’s classic Victorian tale about one woman’s dueling desires for feminist independence and fiery passion has long been catnip for filmmakers. But Thomas Vinterberg’s latest version is, hands down, the best yet. With a steely resilience burning beneath her delicate, creamy complexion, Carey Mulligan brings remarkable nuance and a rich inner life to the role of Bathsheba Everdene, a modest English country girl who inherits her late uncle’s farm, leading to a wealth of choices most women at the time wouldn’t dare to dream possible. Those, naturally, include a trio of romantic suitors: the shepherd smitten with her even before she came into money (Matthias Schoenaerts); the rich and slightly bumbling landowner next door (Michael Sheen); and the rakish bad boy in uniform (Tom Sturridge). Even if you don’t consider yourself an easy mark for literary bodice-rippers served with a side of sexual politics, this Far From the Madding Crowd gives you plenty of reason to swoon, most particularly in its earthy realism, gorgeous cinematography, deft editing and beautiful musical score.
“Vinterberg’s romantic rollercoaster honors Hardy’s rustic vibe. Remarkably, too, he’s made a thoroughly modern film anyone can relate to — it’s like a “what a woman wants” discussion set in Victorian times. It’s also an instant classic.” (Graham Fuller, New York Daily News)
Great Britain – 2015 – 119 mins. – In English only