Danish international director Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt) fearlessly wades into Thomas Hardy’s English-lit perennial and does it justice in classic fashion. In it, a self-assured female sheep farmer in 19th-century rural England, one Bathsheba Everdene (winningly portrayed by Carey Mulligan), tries to make up her mind which of three suitors she prefers: her unvarnished but loyal foreman (Matthias Schoenaerts), a rich country squire (Michael Sheen), or a swashbuckling British army sergeant (Tom Sturridge). While that dilemma plays out, Hardy’s story – adapted for the screen by David Nicholls – keeps us entertained with dramatic set pieces and wagonloads of local color. But Mulligan’s perf is its biggest dividend. Vinterberg’s neo-classical romantic saga more than holds its own against the 1967 John Schlesinger-Julie Christie version (120 min.).
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Producer: Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich and Christine Langan
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge and Juno Temple
Far From the Madding Crowd