|Mulligan and Schoenaerts shine in this beautiful melodrama.|
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
Produced by Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich
Written by David Nicholls (from Thomas Hardy's novel)
Starring Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge and Juno Temple
Thomas Vinterberg's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic novel is a sweeping romance and lush production. Bathsheba Everdene (Mulligan) is a spirited woman, desiring her independence and following her impetuous nature. Inheriting a farm from her uncle, she attracts the advances of three men of various backgrounds: a humble sheep farmer (Schoenaerts), a reserved gentlemen (Sheen), and a young soldier (Sturridge). The three men each have her attention and consideration at certain moments, but her heart can only belong to one. If Bathsheba is ever to be happy, she'll have to decide which man she wants to be with and give her heart.
This version of Hardy's romance is an improvement stylistically over John Schlesinger's 1967 film, which stared Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Peter Finch, and Terence Stamp. While the new cast aren't quite as formidable, they do give very good performances. Mulligan is lovely as Bathsheba - bubbly, impulsive, independent, loving, and totally her own person. As her wealthy neighbor, Sheen gives a reigned-in performance of a tortured, upstanding man of character. Schoenaerts, meanwhile, is a reserved force, providing the film's most effective performance. Sturridge is arguably miscast, but he makes the most of his latter scenes. As good as the cast are, the film is equally as well-designed. The fine sets, gorgeous costumes, rich score, and stunning cinematography make a captivating experience. It's a wonderful, timeless melodrama, rendered a success from Vinterberg's actors and the ravishing design of the film. No doubt, it's one of the year's best.
Oscar Potential: Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score
YAY!!! I can't wait for this. I loved the 67 film, and I really like this cast, so I was hoping it would be a good film. So glad to hear that it is!!!ReplyDelete
I'm surprised I loved it so much, but there it is. Hope you love it too! :)Delete
Great review! My indie theater has this, but I haven't been able to see it because the show times don't work. I'd like to though, especially after reading this.ReplyDelete
Thanks! I hope you get a chance to see it on the big screen. It's such a beautiful film.Delete
I'm glad to see you like this. I've been wanting to hear from someone who has seen the original and liked it for an impression on the newer version. The time difference between the two had given me pause, a fifty minute difference in length is a lot of story to lose although the first could have been trimmed here and there. Does it feel rushed at all?ReplyDelete
Sturridge has always been the actor I had the most questions about, Everyone else while different made sense in their roles and Stamp would be difficult to be bettered he was just so right for the part both physically and the presence he brought to it but the few times I've seen Sturridge have left me with no real impression from him which Sgt. Troy has to make for Bathsheba's devotion to him to make sense.
It didn't feel rushed, but I thought the original, which I'd give an A-, was a tad too long. You might feel differently.Delete
Yeah, Sturridge as Troy isn't believable early in the film, which is my main problem with it. Though, he gets better as the film progresses, and I thought he nailed his final scenes.
I really wish I would love this film as much as you, but the miscasting of Sturridge as Troy is a huge problem for me because it's a crucial part of the story. Like Joel said, he didn't sell me on why Bathsheba would fall for his character. I do love Carey as Bathsheba and the other two actors were fine in their roles.ReplyDelete
Yeah, that didn't bother me as much, but that's probably the only reason I didn't give the film an A+. Sturridge was great towards the end, though. If only his early scenes were as good as his latter ones...Delete