Far From the Madding Crowd (2015)

It’s well-accepted by now that former Dogme 95 filmmakers are doing a formidable job of reinventing the wheel in cinema’s most well-worn genres, including by Lone Scherfig in prestige British drama An Education, which she gave a much more freewheeling brevity and edgier examination of the British class system than if another director had helmed it. In Far From the Madding Crowd, Dogme director Thomas Vinterberg is reinventing two British institutions – the period drama, and one of its oldest properties, the titular classic novel by Thomas Hardy. His inclination to be minimalistic and freewheeling serves this story well, which is a tale of agency and romance set against an at times unforgiving British countryside. A much less bracing tone than what Vinterberg uses would have been inappropriate. But Vinterberg makes every inch of his setting and main character burst off the screen, aided by a fabulous performance (while Suffragette isn’t on this list, she is reason alone to see it) from Carey Mulligan. You can feel the wind at your back and the grass brushing your fingers.

Rating: 4/5


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