Run time: 119mins

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge,

Synopsis:  The story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene, who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer captivated by her fetching wilfulness; Frank Troy, a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba’s choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love – as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance.

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Danish director Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt, 2012; Festen 1998 – a founding ‘brother’ of dogme95) brings us a visually stunning and superbly crafted new version of the 19thcentury  novel which gave Thomas Hardy his first real taste of literary success.  An excellent script by David Nicholl is faithful to the themes of the original, with all the drama, reversals of fortune and cruel twists of fate played out in a rural English idyll, as three very different men vie for the attentions of the truly rounded, independent heroine, Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan).

Once again Carey Mulligan mesmerises as a modern young woman trying to retain her independence and carve her way in the world.  Matthias Schoenaerts is perfect as the patient, loyal and ever faithful Gabriel Oak, with Michael Sheen as Boldwood the middle aged, wealthy landowner who tragically becomes infatuated with Bathsheba and Tom Sturridge as the feckless Sergeant Troy.

Luscious cinematography from Charlotte Bruus Christensen paints a beautiful picture of Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, reflecting the seasonal changes and imparting pathetic fallacy to the drama.

Exquisite costumes from Janet Patterson and a beautiful score from Craig Armstrong complete the mix. Vinterberg’s film feels like the perfect new interpretation of this classic work about the fatefulness of human life set against the relentless authority of nature and the seasons.

Images courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox