February 1st, 2016

If Downton Abbey teaches us anything and virtually all period pieces for that matter – the 1800s in the UK were a troubling and difficult time.   It was a time of change and a time of class struggles.  People had their place and their station, and they were not to stray outside the lines.   Lines that were written in imaginary ink but were as real as the hedgerows.   While we in North America were hunting pelts and Indians alike, the Brits were dealing with class and relationships and farms.
So sets the stage for Far From The Madding Crowd.  This is a remake of a late 1960s film starting Julie Christie (unseen by me).   It has the familiar Matthias Schonerts from The Danish Girl and also Disorder.   He us very good here as Mr Oak.   The strong, silent type who knows and is wise about much but says very little.   Fate dealt him a poor lot time and again it seems.   But he stays his course and supports his independent minded woman.  Carey Mulligan plays that woman.   She so fiercely independent early on and rebuffing two separate men.   Then she meets a swashbuckling handsome soldier and can’t seem to help herself.   The rest unfolds as it should.
This is beautifully shot.  English landscapes and cliffs that make me want to book air travel.  It is well acted.   Miss Mulligan who has received raves and plum roles earns her stripes here and is good.  I have not liked her before (like in The Great Gatsby nor Wall Street Money Never Sleeps) but here she is good.
I enjoyed this.  It is on Netflix and worthy of some time I think.   I do think we will all see more of both actors.   They do have chemistry. And here it is well served.   It must be there honestly for this story to make any sense.   No bombs.  No light Sabres.  No cgi.   There it is.


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