Thomas Hardy, an English author, spun a classic and spectacular tale of love in his novel, Far From the Madding Crowd. Adapted for the screen by David Nicholls and starring Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby), Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone), and Tom Sturridge (Waiting Forever), the movie stands on its own with this convincing cast of actors. In the beginning of the film, the protagonist Bathsheba Everdene, convinces us she is too independent to need a husband or to be courted by a man. Her first suitor is Gabriel Oak, who is hard not to like with his chivalrous characteristics and the ideal "Knight in Shining Armor" persona. Although Bathsheba and Gabriel grow to like each each other well enough, Bathsheba determines she values her independence too much and him too little. When she inherits a farm in Weatherbury, Bathsheba attracts a new admirer, Mr. William Boldwood, a prosperous farmer, whose ardor she apparently awakens. As she contemplates Boldwood's offer of marriage, Sergeant Francis "Frank" Troy, turns Bathsheba's initial dislike into infatuation after he shows her a private display of swordsmanship. Far From the Madding Crowd demonstrates that small actions can have huge consequences and that time and chance happen to us all. A bit slow, but thoroughly entertaining and a beautiful movie, I would recommend for fans of historical fiction and unrequited love.
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