With the popularity of Victorian and Edwardian melodramas right now, I’m surprised that there have not been more current big-screen versions of Thomas Hardy’s novels. Luckily, director Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt) is going some way to rectifying that in his production of Far From the Madding Crowd, starring Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts. In the first trailer for the film, Mulligan’s beauty vies with the English countryside for captivating qualities, and it’s a toss-up which one wins.
Far From the Madding Crowd features Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdene, a headstrong young woman who takes over a farm to run on her own account. She quickly attracts three suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer who belatedly comes to work on Bathsheba’s farm; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome but venal Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a wealthy bachelor with a stolid exterior that conceals a passionate soul. With a set-up like that, tragedy appears to be inevitable, as each character’s foibles and passions causes pain for themselves as well as others.
This first trailer for Far From the Madding Crowd makes the film look much cleaner and brighter than, say, the adaptation made in the 1970s that starred Julie Christie and Alan Bates. The English countryside is in full flower, and romanticism in full swing. But it’s a lovely, lyrical trailer, very much in keeping with Hardy’s prose. If the film manages to fulfill the promise of its trailer, we’re in for an excellent and moving experience.
You can watch the trailer for Far From the Madding Crowd above, and then check out some of the images from the production, as well as a poster, below.
Far From the Madding Crowd will open on May 1, 2015. Hopefully this will spark a trend in producing some more Hardy films for the big screen.
Source: The Film Stage