Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)

Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)

Thomas Vinterberg and David Nicholls team up for an enchanting, yet grounded modern interpretation of the classic countryside novel

7.5

Movie

United States of America
English, French, Italian
Drama, Romance
2015
THOMAS VINTERBERG
Bradley Hall, Carey Mulligan, David Golt
119 min

TLDR

What happened to men giving you a lamb for a proposal?

What it's about

England, 1870s. The independent heiress Bathsheba Everdene catches the eye of shepherd Gabriel Oak, though she refuses his offer of marriage. Despite this, their lives continue to intertwine as Everdene hires him for her uncle’s farm, with Weatherbury bringing contrasting fortunes to both of them and new suitors for Miss Everdene.

The take

Far From the Madding Crowd is a classic tale, but in terms of story, it has the familiar thread of a lady having to choose between multiple swoon-worthy suitors, which is a common story of many lengthy, overly melodramatic period dramas. However, with the restrained direction of Thomas Vinterberg, and the writing of David Nicholls, known best for his decades sprawling romance in One Day, the fifth film adaptation captures the magic of the classic countryside novel, elevating the old-fashioned romance with an easier, faster flow, and carried by the powerful performance of its cast. Fans of the novel or the 1967 adaptation might feel disappointed at how much was removed, but overall, Far From the Madding Crowd is an exemplary drama adaptation.

What stands out

The music. The score is just so ethereal, but the way Craig Armstrong incorporates the folk and church songs into the story helps to recreate the way these farmers must have lived before, tugging at a collective history in a way not many period dramas have done.

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