Far from the Madding Crowd ★★★½

I always wonder if Thomas Hardy was a feminist avant la lettre, or if his work just gets better with a feminist approach. This adaptation is visually lush, thanks to Nicolas Roeg's work as DoP, but I found myself annoyed by Julie Christie as Bathsheba. I realise it's unfair how much my perception of people in the public eye is fuelled by associations from my own life. Christie here resembles someone I have a complicated relationship with, and it absolutely influenced my experience of Bathsheba. Then again, my Dad, who has listed Christie as one of his favourite actresses numerous times, was not impressed with her here either. So it is that the role is badly written in the script, or is it something else? As for Hardy's possible feminism, Bathsheba's indecisiveness works in Vinterberg's 2015 film, but here she comes across as unnecessarily cruel, hypocritical and even manipulative.

Without this film we possible wouldn't have had the Kinks' 'Waterloo Sunset', but if it'd had been me, there would have been no other choice than to go for Alan Bates. What a gorgeous man.

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