Far from the Madding Crowd

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Thomas Hardy's 1874 novel about romantic entanglements in the English countryside returns to the big screen in this fourth film adaptation, directed by Thomas Vinterberg. After unexpectedly inheriting a farm and a fortune, an independent-minded woman (Carey Mulligan) is determined to achieve success in a world run by men. She's pursued by three suitors: a kindly shepherd (Matthias Schoenaerts), a lonely bachelor (Michael Sheen), and a caddish army sergeant (Tom Sturridge). A top-rank cast, lush cinematography, and high drama combine into a treat that's suitable for teens as well as grownups, with a lesson in true love and commitment thrown in for good measure.

Watch out for: Brief violence, some sensuality, a single disturbing image.

Rated: A-II, adults and adolescents; MPAA: PG-13, parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015