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At the green edge of the world

At the green edge of the world

USA/Großbritannien 2015 - mit Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge ...

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Originaltitel:Far from the madding Crowd
Genre:Drama, Romance
Regie:Thomas Vinterberg
Produktionsland:USA/Großbritannien 2015
Laufzeit:Ca. 119 min.
FSK:From 6 years
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The farmer Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) leads a modest but happy life in 19th century England. She enjoys being independent and being able to make her own living. Although she feels attracted to the shepherd Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), she rejects a marriage proposal from him. Her independence is just too important to her. Years later the paths of the two cross again. While Gabriel has lost his entire herd and is looking for work, Bathsheba has been promoted to wealthy landowner by an heir. In contrast, her attitude to life has changed little, which is why she is not only willing to give Gabriel a job as a shepherd. She also refuses a proposal from wealthy William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) despite all the advantages. It seems that the young woman simply does not want a man to determine her life. That changes when she meets the charming officer Frank Try (Tom Sturridge). Suddenly she throws all her reservations overboard and makes a hasty decision - with fatal consequences...

The writer Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928) was not only a master at telling epic stories. Again and again he has created very modern female figures in his books, which did not correspond at all to the end of the 19th century prevailing woman blind. One of the probably best and most popular characters from Hardys pen is Bathsheba Everdene from "Am grünen Rand der Welt", who is still the inspiration figure for numerous other literary characters. Kantniss Everdeen from "The Tributes of Panem", for example, is one of the most recent examples of novel characters that are said to have been inspired by Bathsheba. The Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg, who recently captivated audiences with his intense drama "Die Jagd", is also generally fascinated by complex and strong characters. Therefore it was certainly the perfect choice to adapt a novel by Thomas Hardy for the big screen.

"Am grünen Rand der Welt" is probably Vinterberg's most conventional and commercial film to date. It delivers very straightforward, great emotional cinema that offers few surprises. Only in a few moments, such as the dramatic death of Gabriel's flock of sheep, is Vinterberg's very special aesthetic recognizable. But the fact that the film otherwise treads the usual paths of common costume dramas should not be understood as negative criticism. Apart from a few shorter lengths, Vinterberg has succeeded in adapting a very good novel, which can score points with a wonderful visual language, strong actors and a heartfelt story.

The extensive book template was, of course, significantly shortened. But scriptwriter David Nicholls ("Great Expectations", "Two in a Day"), himself a successful writer, manages very well to reduce the story to the essentials without creating too many gaps. There are indeed some moments that seem a bit rushed or where one would have wished that they had gone a little deeper. All in all, however, the adaptation not only leaves a very positive overall impression, but also an unusual lightness, especially for Hardy's work, from which the entertainment value of the film can clearly profit.

The actors also deliver very good performances overall. Carey Mulligan may look like she's about to cry in every scene and Matthias Schoenaerts can't reveal his entire acting spectrum either. But their play fits very well with the roles they embody. Michael Sheen is really wonderful as a hopelessly romantic landowner, who remains a gentleman even in moments of great disappointment and in the end reveals himself to be a very noble loser. And Tom Sturridge finally manages very well not only to deceive Bathsheba, but also the audience with his initial charm.

"Am grünen Rand der Welt" is a must for all lovers of great emotional cinema and epic costume dramas. If you don't expect anything more than a visually stunning adaptation of a novel about love and independence in Victorian England, you shouldn't miss this work. Worth seeing

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