Far from the Madding Crowd

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Far from the Madding Crowd

Thomas Vinterberg (2015)

113min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Director John Schlesinger had the cream of 1960s British acting talent at his disposal for this beautifully realised adaptation of Thomas Hardy's windswept Wessex romance. Julie Christie (hot after her best actress Oscar for another Schlesinger film, Darling) stars as Bathsheba Everdene, the headstrong country girl made good after inheriting her uncle's estate, who captivates devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak (Alan Bates), lonely landowner Boldwood (Peter Finch) and dashing soldier Sergeant Troy (Terence Stamp). When the film was released in 1967, some critics thought Christie more Swinging Sixties than 1860s, but she remains a fascinating presence and it's easy to see why her trio of suitors could fall under her spell. The male stars are rather good, too: Stamp is all cheek and charm (his sword-wielding seduction of Bathsheba is a standout), Finch exhibits pain and passion almost in the same breath and Bates is charismatic despite playing a virtual bystander to the trials and tragedies occurring around him. It won't be to every Hardy fan's taste but Nicolas Roeg's masterful photography acts like another member of the cast, convincingly creating a grimy, weather-beaten pastoral landscape that's brilliantly underscored by Richard Rodney Bennett's wistful and evocative music.

Summary

Part two of two. A beautiful woman arouses the ardour of three rival suitors in 19th-century rural Dorset and, having flirted and toyed with their affections, she chooses to marry a caddish, gambling soldier - a decision that leads to a sequence of harrowing events. John Schlesinger's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic novel, with Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Terence Stamp and Peter Finch.

Cast & Crew

Bathsheba Everdene Carey Mulligan
Gabriel Oak Matthias Schoenaerts
William Boldwood Michael Sheen
Sergeant Francis Troy Tom Sturridge
Fanny Robin Juno Temple
Liddy Jessica Barden
Jacob Smallbury Hilton McRae
Laban Tall Jamie Hill
Boldwood's butler Richard Dixon
Director Thomas Vinterberg
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century FoxGuidance: Some violence, sexual references.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 1 May 2015
Drama