Far from the Madding Crowd (♦♦♦♦)
Bathsheba Everdene is a young woman with only her education to pride herself, but upon the death of an uncle she inherits money, a mansion, and a farm on several acres of land. Working on her farm is Gabriel Oak, the first man she refused to marry. He accompanies her through life's ups and downs, her whirlwind romance to spirited sergeant Frank Troy which ends up in a failed marriage, and another truncated marriage offer from her land neighbor and middle aged bachelor Mr. Bolwood.
I love period pieces and romantic movies and Far from the Madding Crowd doesn't disappoint on any front. The acting is superb; the photography, musical score, and cinematography are simply beautiful. This movie has soul and a moral: enduring love grows from partnership and sacrifice; it isn't born from infatuation, but from every day acts.
I like Carey Mulligan's acting style, because she can conjure at will different characters such as the innocent girl in An Education, the vain and pretty Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, the heartbroken and ever expectant lover in Never Let Me Go, or the strong headed Bathsheba in Far from the Madding Crowd. Mulligan also has a good instinct about the roles she chooses; thus far she has avoided being typecast.
Cast:Carey Mulligan (Bathsheba Everdene), Matthias Schoenaerts (shepherd Gabriel Oak, first suitor), Michael Sheen (Mr. Bolwood, second suitor), Tom Sturridge (Sergeant Frank Troy, Bathsheba's husband), Juno Temple (Fanny Robbin, Frank Troy’s paramour)