Movie Review: Far from the Madding Crowd

Title: Far from the Madding Crowd
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 1 hr 59 min
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge
Release Date: May 22, 2015
Genre: Drama, Romance

The story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching willfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), 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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The Good:

Matthias Schoenaerts. I could have seriously watched him all day and never been bored. This is my first time seeing him as an actor, and I have to say he gave Ryan Gosling (in The Notebook) some serious competition for swoony and romantic. Sigh.

The Bad:

I didn't like Bathsheba. At all. I don't care that this is a period piece, and she's supposed to be portrayed as 'independent'. She stayed single by stringing along 2 guys, keeping them at her beck and call for years, only to thoughtlessly cast them both aside when some snide, arrogant soldier came along. BUT... what was worse is that she continued to string those 2 men along even after things quickly went south with her soldier. I firmly believe both men were nuts to cling to some hope of her finally choosing them when she so obviously was using them. Bathsheba constantly made poor decisions, which not only lead to her own unhappiness, but to those around her as well. If she had made the correct choice in the beginning, the story would have been over in the first 5 minutes. Why make me wait through the agony of 2 hours before you make a wise choice, and I'm left thinking that you deserve to be alone forever!

If this were a book:

It is a book! Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy 1874. I've never read it, and I won't be since I'm not a fan of the movie. It's just as well.

Final thoughts:

Okay, so maybe I'll admit this wasn't all bad, especially because it introduced me to Matthias Schoenaerts. If it weren't for him I wouldn't have anything positive to say about this movie. I'll leave you with the trailer so you can watch for yourself. Actually, if you watch this you won't need to watch the movie because it's all there in the trailer! You're welcome.

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