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Far from the Madding Crowd

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Most reviews of this film have been very positive, though not all see it as quite up to the 1967 version. The Sydney Morning Herald described it as ‘both highly controlled on the surface, and molten with lust underneath’. Is it a bit too controlled though? Vanity Fair calls it a ‘gentle, unintrusive film, graceful and too refined to speak out of turn’ while Mark Kermode in The Observer wanted ‘a little more mud . . . to take the designer edge off these dirty faces’. The more sensational aspects of the earlier film (and novel) have been downplayed in favour of more conventional realism (e.g. the William Boldwood character is less of a ‘twitching psycho’) but Hardy’s book has been well served. So much for the critics: what did you think of this film?

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