Title: Far From the Madding Crowd
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen
Runtime: 1 hr 59 mins
What It Is: Based on a Thomas Hardy novel, this adaptation go through Bathesheba Everdene (Mulligan) a driven and staunch young woman living on her own in the hills of England. Her neighbor is a young shepard named Gabriel Oak (Schoenaerts) who professes to love the young lady. When disaster strikes one and fortune the other we are treated to an interesting role reversal as previously Mr. Oak had money and Ms. Everdene did not. Did money change Ms. Everdene? What will his newly found poverty produce for Mr. Oak? Lots of question without answers, and only 2 hrs to find out.
What We Think: As far as period pieces go this one does the job. It’s an interesting movie, and it’s main character is nothing short of a revelation for the Victorian setting. She’s strong-willed and seems to be more concerned with keeping her farm intact more than anything else. Despite weak middle third the ending is fitting and does what it should do for the story being told. Carey Mulligan knocks this out of the park as does Matthias Schoenaerts. They lead this film in a way that most cannot. In addition Michael Sheen is good as well. One solid drawback is Juno Temple’s entire existence in this film. Her story was inconsistently told.
Our Grade: C+, It fails to reinvent an otherwise stagnant genre in the Victorian Period Piece. Along the way it’s held up by strong performances that aren’t strong enough to attest for a lackluster pacing and worrisome direction. It’s simply meh, and I expected a tad more from it. It’s mediocre and is graded thusly Nonetheless I say see it, especially if your a fan of this sort of film. Expect a character or two you can root for and perhaps one vile and deplorable one you cannot.