“Far From the Madding Crowd”

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg

ffmOld school, epic love stories are pretty hard to find in Hollywood, unless it’s an adaptation of a Victorian author’s novel. And those often seem a little too precious…too formulaic. Well, this EPIC love story is neither. Carey Mulligan is sensational, heart-breaking, majestic and gorgeous as our protagonist and her on-screen chemistry with Matthias Schoenaerts (handsome and unrecognizable from his last lead role as the steroid-addicted butcher in “Bullhead”) crackles. Additionally, Michael Sheen is a wonder. It is photographed beautifully – both when surrounding you with the incredible Dorset landscape, and in flame-lit closeups that feel voyeuristic in their intensity. And then there’s the language of the film – compact of purpose, yet full of emotion. “It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in a language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.” Indeed. The only negative is Vinterberg’s decision to utilize the soap opera trick of occasionally zoom in quickly during a shot to add importance…a trick, by the way, that has no place in modern cinema. But that is a very minor complaint. A stunning experience!

Originally written 6/10/2015

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