Under the Greenwood Tree (Film)

08/17/2015 at 4:00 AM (Books, Movies) (, , , , , )

Recently I had the opportunity to watch the 2015 released movie Far From the Madding Crowd based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy starring Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba, who attracts the following characters as suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts); Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge); and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen). I’ve already blogged about the adaption that features Paloma Baeza before so this post is about the consequences of me watching this re-release as it led to me to seek out another Hardy adaptation, based on the bookUnder the Greenwood Tree.


L to R: Mr Shinar, Parson Maybold, Fancy Day & Dick Dewy (Source)

In this story, a beautiful, young and educated new schoolteacher Fancy Day (Keeley Hawes) has come to live in the village of Mellstock while taking care of her sick father. Her father’s goal is to see Fancy married well because he married for love which had bad repercussions for Fanny’s mother. Like Bathsheba Everdene, Fancy is pursued by three very different suitors: poor but passionate Dick Dewy (James Murray), the mature but wealthiest man in in town Mr Shinar (Steve Pemberton) and the arrogant but educated man of the world Parson Maybold (Ben Miles). Her father believes Mr Shinar is the best of prospects for her and hides the truth from Fancy when he is rescued by one of the other suitors, whom he believes is below her station. But Fancy discovers the truth and ends up choosing simple love although she is offered wealth and the world. In the middle of romantic quandaries, a new harmonium that is to be played at the local church by Fancy Day is being introduced by Parson Maybold and the former church choir consisting of mostly simple farm parishioners aren’t taking it too well and their pranks cause her some distress and embarrassment.

Surprisingly this Hardy adaptation had a happy ending compared to his other work but I hear the book is different in character portrayal. Here’s a good in-depth review of the book as I’ve yet to read it! I like this assessment and it applies to the Under the Greenwood Tree adaption as well, “The question is not about her choice but about whether it is the right one — a question that cannot be answered by the end…”.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Classically Speaking: From Page to Screen

09/03/2010 at 5:54 AM (BBC Drama, Books, Movies, Romance) (, , , , , , , )

I have been watching old DVDs I’ve missed out on voraciously during the winter. The source of my pleasure ( a fine public institution despite occasional walk-ins by people with bad body odour ) provides them free of charge. So I’ve found myself borrowing 4 per week and as some are 3-hour length Bollywood dramas  ended up giving a rude shock to my regular sleeping pattern.

North and South

I have a new found love for film adaptations of classics  (otherwise known as period dramas) . This started after I was introduced to the BBC mini-series North and South set in industrialist Victorian England. It is based on a little-known 19th century novel by Elizabeth Gaskell about the class divide. If you are  getting curious and hungry for more like a series sneak peek, click this.

Tess of the D'urbervilles


Well, I definitely had triggered my appetite for this genre and next stumbled upon Tess of the D’urbervilles BBC film, adapted from Hardy’s classic with sexy Hans Matheson starring as the cad, Alec, and the boyish Eddie Redmayne as the confused and hapless Angel Clare. If you are looking for more juice on the plot as it is new to you, click this (Spoiler Alert! : article reveals ending.)

I read the book a few days later which is not typical of my practice and felt they had made Alec more of a jerk and Angel appear far less cruel than he sounds in the book … ( Not to mention that in the film Hans is much better looking than Eddie.)

Vanity Fair

Next I discovered Vanity Fair starring Reese Witherspoon as social climber, Becky Sharp,  and a rather dapper looking Jonathan Rhys Meyers (especially in uniform) as George Osborne adapted from Thackeray’s ‘novel without a hero’.

They have substantially changed the character of Becky so if you did not like the Guy Ritchie version of Sherlock Holmes, you probably will not like Mira Nair’s stylistic changes to the book .

Note: the chilli episode will make you giggle.

Permalink Leave a Comment