By Shirl Hollenberg
Spring is in the air. Subdued love among the ruins, or in the case of Far From The Madding Crowd the pastoral English countryside, is in full bloom. Done right by Fox Searchlight Pictures this must see romantic pilgrimage is now turning audiences on at The Fifth Avenue Cinemas.
Be careful what you wish for. Farmers everywhere will be in tune with the sorry plight of a single girl trying to make ends meet on a farm in the late 1800s. Determined to make it on her own in a man’s world is Bathsheba Everdene. Left to her own devices Carey Mulligan (An Education) sure does shine as the feisty woman who slowly creates havoc for the men of the colony when she comes into some money.
Elements of male chauvinism are everywhere yet this independent lass manages to navigate these troubled waters with a take no prisoners attitude. Alas, less successful is Ms. Everdene when it comes to choosing (or not choosing) men. Three men in particular cross this woman’s path. Just how she deals with those lusty feelings are expertly played out under the solid direction of Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt). Average guys will be pulling for local farm boy Gabriel Oak while the more executive types will root for landed gentry William Boldwood. Pitch perfect performances portraying down to earth humbleness and regal splendour are evoked poignantly by Mathias Schoenaerts and Michael Sheen (Twilight).
Gorgeous cinematography of the dreamy English countryside compliments the stirring emotions that erupt in a dynamic romantic tryst sure to leave onlookers breathless. Outstanding is the acting of Carey Mulligan whose lustre and brilliance may not be lost on a small golden statuette known as Oscar this time next spring.
Far From The Madding Crowd (PG)!