Netflix A-Z: Far From the Madding Crowd (2015)

Hello Period Drama! Its been a while, hasn’t it? I love period dramas.  Love them to absolute bits. I’ve read some pretty good reviews on Far from the Madding Crowd last year so I was waiting to get access to this one.  There was no doubt when I embarked on this 2015 catch-up phase that this would be the F selection. I haven’t seen a lot of Carey Mulligan but from what I’ve seen, she is rather talented. As some of you may know, I’ve read very little Classics so I haven’t actually read Far from the Madding Crowd before or even heard of it. That being said, I knew nothing about the story. I still believe that is the best way to see a movie 😉

Let’s check it out!

Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)

far from the madding crowd

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, Juno Temple, Jessica Barden, Michael Sheen

In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor.-IMDB

 Far from the Madding Crowd is a really well-crafted character development sort of romance.  While I can’t compare the classic to this adaptation, I truly appreciated it in a whole.  It had beautiful music and great cinematography.  It seems like we are watching Bathsheba Everdene grow in all her independent manners, and while it seems like she is on top of her feelings and able to control her own emotions and motivations, we know whether her choices are good or bad.  I think that is what is so great about classic stories.  It makes us involved in a truly simple journey of a character, at the same time, we are smarter than the character as she learns through bad decisions and triumph with her when she wins, except in a situation like this one, we all root for one character or another who we want her to be with.  It was no doubt who I wanted her to be with and that the story was giving us all the signs that he was the best man even if he wasn’t comparable to the other two in other qualities or accomplishments.

far from the madding crowd

With such a character-driven story, the cast has to be absolutely competent and I’m happy to say that they are. Carey Mulligan is a fine actress and has the elegance to portray a character that is strong and independent in a world, especially that of the farming business where its ruled by men like Bathsheba Everdene.  She has the motivations and toughness to make her own decisions.  However, she is still a lady and there are moments when the character drove me a little crazy but made me admire her stand.  There were realistic moments where while I knew it was a bad decision (if you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about), I could understand why she would do that. Over the almost close to 2 hours of runtime, there were a million feelings and thoughts that ran through my head as I grew to really connect with her character.

far from the madding crowd

In a way, what makes Far from the Madding Crowd so great was the relationship it took the time to build between Bathsheba and Gabriel Oak.  He was the first man that proposed to her and I always mean to go back to see there was an actual rejection on her part. Gabriel Oak is played by Matthias Schoenaerts and I’m telling you, this man is amazing.  He embodies the character of Gabriel Oak and is just that really amazing man who is right there quietly. I’m swooning, I’m sorry. He is just so perfect.  All the moments he shares with Bathsheba even if its just discussing or talking is really fun or mesmerizing, whatever the word is for them.  The chemistry is through the roof for them and I loved it so much.

far from the madding crowd

What is excellent about this movie is that every character by its outstanding cast has a different style and charisma to give them each an individuality in their characters.  It helps us determine whether Tom Sturridge’s Frank Troy is truly reckless and/or broken.  Or whether Michael Sheen’s William Boldwood is respectable and/or hopelessly in love. It gives them traits and faults just like Matthias Schoenaerts’ Gabriel Oak is also human because he also has faults..  Who is suitable for Bathsheba, right? When and how does she determine whether she needs a husband? What I’m trying to say is that a great movie makes us care for the characters and I definitely did.  In the last scenes, I was all sorts of emotional (partially because I’m been super stressed and tired so

Overall, Far from the Madding Crowd is a great period drama.  The way the cast does a fine job at portraying the character that the story itself builds with a great performance by Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba and Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak.  Their chemistry was absolutely captivating to watch.  With the lovely music and beautiful location and cinematography, this movie was an absolute pleasure to watch from start to finish!

Have you seen Far from the Madding Crowd? What did you think of it? If you’ve read the classic book, how does it compare? 

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Fantasia Film Fest 2013!

Fantasia International Film Festival 2013 started yesterday!

I wanted to keep this in the down low since time has been scarce and I’m not exactly sure if I can actually to get my schedule sorted out to accommodate it.  Thing is, I just finished looking at the movies schedules and I’m just WAY TOO EXCITED! However, choices have to be made since I don’t have that much time and limited financial resources.  Plus, I’m having trouble finding friends to go with me as I don’t particularly enjoy going to movies by myself.

I’ve been thinking of going to see the Fantasia Film Fest ever since it first came about 10 years or so ago.  Its an international film festival here that focuses on a lot of Asia movies (75% probably) and the majority of them are actually horror, thrillers or action of some sort mixed with drama, romance, comedy, etc.  They also have a good many that are having their premiere at this festival.  I know I don’t seem like the type to like horror.  Fact is, I do love them, especially horror thrillers.  My sleep doesn’t as much.

This coming few weeks, you should be seeing a few reviews of certain movies.  As I type this, I have already planned two Hong Kong movies with my mom.  First one we’ve already bought the tickets for called The Last Tycoon with Chow Yun-Fat last night.  Check out the link HERE!  Seems like I always end up taking my mom to see Chow Yun-Fat movies. At least this time around, its in Chinese so I won’t need to explain it to my mom! SCORE! 🙂

Next one I want to see (probably more than The Last Tycoon) is Saving General Yang on July 29th.  Deal is, its at the 2nd last day before a HUGE work deadline so I’m only buying the tickets depending on how much work I get done in the next few days. I’m going to try to pull lots of overtime to make it happen.  Funny thing is this one actually has a English dubbed trailer which you can find HERE! It has a phenomenal cast and it features one of my favorite historical ancient Chinese families.  I’m totally happy that my mom agreed to go see both movies with me.

My boyfriend is supposed to go with me to at least one as well.  We haven’t quite decided which one yet.  We just need to find out his new work schedule which is supposed to happen but hasn’t been posted up at work yet.  We do have a few on our minds.

Our first choice is Ip Man: The Final Fight.  You can find the trailer and description HERE! We’re huge fans of the Ip Man franchise and even if this one doesn’t have Donnie Yen, it has Anthony Wong and he’s a really kick-ass actor.  One of the best actors in the Hong Kong movie industry.

Another one we were interested in but I’m not too keen on seeing at an international film fest is I’ll Follow You Down since it’ll be accessible on Blu-ray easily afterwards. I almost didn’t recognize Haley Joel Osment.  He does not look anything like he did in AI/Sixth Sense, etc.  Take your pick 😉 If you haven’t heard about it, HERE is the link with the synopsis! I really dig the cast in it though and the story seems pretty intriguing 🙂

Another one I’m more interested than my boyfriend in seeing which is something like a 3rd choice is Lesson of the Evil directed by Takashi Miike.  It looks something like some cool gory fun.  By the way, I’m not scared of that genre of movies too much (with the exception of Texas Chainsaw Massacre) so it should be good. It could get creepy also.  Have you heard of it? The synopsis is right HERE!

Another one that is kind of like a guilty pleasure that looks like a pretty ridiculous horror comedy. I had tweeted about this yesterday as a joke but after I saw the trailer, it could be fun.  Who knows? OH, the title! Its BIG ASS SPIDER! It has an awkward Wednesday night showing so my boyfriend can’t go with me.   So with no one, I will pass since it is a US production so it should be  easier to find 🙂 By the way, Misty, this looks exactly what you’d enjoy 😉 Its not sea creature but spiders could be entertaining too! 😉 Find the trailer right HERE!

When this goes up, I’m aiming to go see this really awesome thriller! It looks so messed up.  Its called Magic Magic and has pretty decent cast with Juno Temple, Michael Cera (who really looks crazy) and Emily Browning! The trailer was impressive 🙂 My best friend to confirm that she will go with me!  The trailer is right HERE!

There are a few more but since limited resources, these have peaked my interest as well! So just some honorable mentions with the respective link below!

1) Taiwan production: When A Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep–>

2) Hong Kong production: Drug War –>

3) Canadian production: Antisocial –>

By now, I’m pretty much set on going to get those tickets for Saving General Yang if anything 🙂 And I’m pretty sure that my cold will subside long enough for me to go see one this weekend with my boyfriend! A dose of Nyquil should be help 😉

If you are interested, HERE is the movie list at Fantasia Film Festival 🙂 Maybe you’ve seen some of these and give me some recommendations!

Any cool festivals coming up where you are? Have you heard of some (or all) of these movies?