“I am not a fool, you know, although I am a woman, and have my woman’s moments.”*
Another thing that I managed to do this past weekend was watch the movie Far From the Madding Crowd (2015).
I had low expectations, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Indeed, this Thomas Hardy story of a headstrong young woman pursued by three rival suitors in southwest Victorian England is an excellent movie and I even liked Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdene. It is well directed by Thomas Vinterberg and England never looked more beautiful as photographed by Charlotte Bruus Christensen.
My only criticism is the casting of the men who portray Bathsheba’s suitors. Matthias Schoenaerts was good but distractingly too “German” for the part of Gabriel Oak. (He’s actually Belgian.) He reminded me of Viggo Mortensen, but not enough. Michael Sheen seems to have studied too hard at the Anthony Hopkins school of drama. It was like he was impersonating him. Weird. And I just didn’t care at all for Tom Sturridge. He plays a rogue–but he should be an appealing one. He is not. It is hard to believe Bathsheba would ever look at him twice.
It was a very authentic movie, but they didn’t overdo the details the way filmmakers frequently do these days in period films. The characters were vivid, the acting excellent. Bathsheba is not portrayed as a feminist icon but as an intelligent woman who just wants to take care of herself. Of course, she falls for the wrong man and pays for it, but we understand. I cared about what happened. Well done.
P.S. They even sang one of my favorite hymns– “Jerusalem the Golden”–in a church scene.
I also finished The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith and it was very good. I highly recommend it. I hear there is a third one–Career of Evil–but I think I will have to wait for it to come out in paperback. What to read now?! Any suggestions?
*Thomas Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd (1874)