I read widely from many genres. Perhaps this blog will feature fewer ratings and reviews, but I certainly intend to write about my reading life - it's the subject I most find myself wanting to talk about.
Earlier this summer I saw the new adaptation of "Far From the Madding Crowd" starring Carey Mulligan. Even though my reading of Thomas Hardy's novel was probably five years ago, as I recall, it is a pretty faithful adaptation. It certainly has a logical consistency. The pacing was brisk, but all of the major points of the novel seemed to be there.
The film is beautiful and the performances lovely. I especially enjoyed the soulful, understated work by Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak. He can slay your heart with his eyes alone. Although Michael Sheen more than matched him in terms of understated, heartbreaking acting. Both were just lovely.
Mulligan was really fine as Miss Bathsheba Everdene learning how to set aside her girlish fickleness and use her womanly strength and power.
I always love period dramas for their art direction and costumes, and this one was very good in both categories - although the costuming was somewhat unexpected. Mulligan wears a fitted leather (lambskin?) jacket in several key scenes. She wraps a scarf around her neck that looks like it came from the Guatemalan imports booth that gets set up every fall at the Student Union. And in another set of scenes she wears a dress made out of denim. All of these were quite unexpected. All were possible in the period, but I still do not know if they were likely or accurate.
So beautiful. Highly recommended.