Far From the Madding Crowd

Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Year Released: 2015
Rating: 2.0

Headstrong Bathsheba (Carey Mulligan) - who recently inherited a large wheat farm - finds herself with a trio of potential husbands - failed sheep herder Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), soldier Frank (Tom Sturridge) and wealthy fellow farmer Boldwood (Michael Sheen) - and, naturally, chooses the wrong one (any first date that involves almost getting slashed with a sword and then groped in the lower lady parts should be a Red Flag). I found this to be a strange choice for Vinterberg - costume drama just didn't seem to be something he'd be interested in - and the results are disappointing: not only is it mechanical, but it's also very clipped, leaving Thomas Hardy's plot mechanisms exposed. It's hard to blame the cast with a script this slimmed down: they make do with what they have (Schoenaerts is the real standout).