Far from the Madding Crowd

The sword display with Terence Stamp and Julie Christie was sexier… the whole film was. I was disappointed by Vinterberg’s new go at it. Nowhere to be found is the austerity needed to underpin the tragic moments acting as a truthful counterpoint to the beauty, which is surely a key opportunity when rendering Hardy to film. Especially, I’d’ve thunk, from the director of THE HUNT. It’s all a bit dutiful and ‘A’ Level. Carey Mulligan constantly walks out of a Vivienne Westwood catwalk and the photography by Charlotte Bruus Christensen – a rare female cinematographer – is chocolate box where it should be bleak. Rich golden tones pervade: there always seems to be a lamp casting flattering sunlight somewhere in the forest or on the hillside. Shot on Kodak for all the wrong reasons. The cutting’s a bit bloody annoying too at times: how many angles do you actually need when a bunch of peasants are having a singsong? Somewhere amid the optimism in Hardy’s novel lurks frustration and tragedy. This film doesn’t nail it.

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