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Cinema From Wednesday 20 May

See Hardy adaptation

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg, famous for “Festen” and “The Hunt”, takes on Thomas Hardy’s “Far From The Madding Crowd”.

See Hardy adaptation

Thomas Vinterberg’s film of Hardy’s breakthrough novel, “Far From The Madding Crowd”, by Danish director at first glance seems to gleefully wallow in the full visual glory of cinematic costume drama. But this is also a very European production that could well challenge John Schlesinger’s 1967 film as the definitive bog screen version of the novel.

In Vinterberg’s film the restrained beauty of Carey Mulligan seems more suitable for the central female role of Bathsheba than the stunningly Hollywood radiance of Julie Christie in Schlesinger’s film.

Vinterberg makes some other subtle changes, for instance setting the famous swordplay by Sergeant Troy (played by the relatively obscure Tom Sturridge) in woodland rather than a stark hillside. Bathsheba’s other suitors are played by Michael Sheen, who takes on the character of William Boldwood, and acclaimed Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts (as the shepherd Gabriel Oak).

Critic Mark Kermode says the film is “well played, affectionately told, and still stirring in its role reversals, both personal and political.”

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