In Victorian England, Bathsheba Everdene (played by Carey Mulligan) is headstrong and determined to be independent. She works hard, spending winter at her Aunt’s farm until she gets news she has inherited her own. Although she never seeks out male attention, she gets it – from three distinctly different men – Farmer Gabriel Oak (by Matthias Schoenaerts), a down-to-earth and earnest sheep farmer, Mr William Boldwood (by Michael Sheen), a mature wealthy bachelor; and Sergeant Francis Troy (by Tom Sturridge), a reckless and wickedly appealing young soldier. Bathsheba is drawn to each man by an aspect of their personality but in each some parts equally repel her. Try as she might, each time she seems to be making a success of her farm by her own means, life conspires to thwart her. Will she achieve success as Mistress of her farm as an independent woman, but manage to find enduring love too? ….
This movie is quite nice, but it’s not a soaring love story – nor is it a deeply moving drama. It will pass the time for you though. Carey Mulligan is lovely as Bathsheba Everdene – she displays enough gumption to be the headstrong independent Victorian woman, but she brings a nice naivety to the role which is much more appealing than any vulnerability she might have portrayed. The three men, each very evenly played by the supremely handsome Matthias Schoenaerts, solid-as-a-rock Michael Sheen and devilishly naughty Tom Sturridge – are all well cast. The landscape of Dorset is marvellous and Victorian England has never really looked so appealing. As I said, it’s a nice way to spend two hours, but I wouldn’t rave over it. It is the dramatization of the novel “Far from the Madding Crowd” by Thomas Hardy.
Made in 2015. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg.