Sunday, July 19, 2015

Far From The Madding Crowd makes for a proper Victorian chick flick

Movie:    Far From the Madding Crowd

PG-13, 1 hour 59 minutes

Grade:   A-

In a Nutshell:   Based on the classic 1874 novel by Thomas Hardy, Victorian England presents us with a romantic setting for a proper Chick Flick where men fall all over themselves for a beautiful, self-reliant woman.

We’ll never see Twilight fans line up for Team Gabriel vs. Team William or Team Frank, but Jane Austin fans and those needing a Downton Abbey fix will give an approving nod.  Gabriel is a total stud-muffin.  Just sayin.

Uplifting Theme:
·         Bathsheba says “It is my intention to astonish you all.”  And she does.
·         Bathsheba asks Gabriel, “Tell me what to do.”  He answers “Do what is right.”

Things I liked:
·         Bathsheba Everdeen (no relation to Katniss) is played by the lovely British actress Carey Mulligan.  She has such a tiny waist!  Her close-ups showcase  just how beautiful she is.
·         The musical score was delicious.
·        The talented cast includes Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaerts, Juno Temple, and Frank Troy.
-    I've never read the novel, but I hear that Danish director Thomas Vinterberg stays true to the source material.
-     Beautiful cinematography that captures the magic of the English countryside.  I was just in England this month!  We saw sheep everywhere as we traveled through the Cotswolds and into Wales.
Here's one of my pictures:

Things I didn’t like:
·         It was so sad to see the sheep mindlessly follow each other jump off the cliff.  People are like that sometimes too, don’t you think?
·         It’s hard to feel sympathy for a beautiful woman who has so many suitors.
-    It's a little slow-moving, although time passes fairly quickly for the characters.

Funny lines:
·         “Mr. Oak, I don’t want a husband.  I’d hate to be some man’s property.  I shouldn’t mind being a bride at a wedding if I could be one without getting a husband.” – Bathsheba
-     "I have some interesting pigs." - William Boldwood

Did you know?
-    The author of the original book took the title from Thomas Gray's poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" dated 1751.  It reads:
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
-    "Madding" means "frenzied"

Interesting lines:
·         “What a luxury to have a choice.” – Bathsheba’s companion
·         “I have a piano and I have my own farm and I have no need of a husband.” – Bathsheba
·         “It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in a language chiefly made by men to express theirs.” - Bathsheba
Tips for Parents:
·          Most children will be pretty bored.  Teenage girls, on the other hand, will probably eat it up.
-     There is a bedroom scene, but you don't see much and it occurs after the couple is married.

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