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4.3 out of 5 stars81
4.3 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 November 2014
The perfect gift for all movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
On a chill Christmas Eve, a young woman rides into the English village of Mellstock. Miss Fancy Day (Keeley Hawes), who has been educated away, has returned to the village to help take care of her ailing father.

As the beautiful new schoolmistress, she becomes a focus of fascination in Mellstock. Not only is she the new teacher, but her presence threatens to shake the old order in Mellstock. The parson plans to replace the old men's choir, by Fancy's playing the modern new Harmonium in church, much to the villagers' surprise and consternation.

So, excitement over Miss Fancy Day begins! Not only does she disturb the choir, but she becomes the focus of the attentions of three men. Her father has groomed her to marry well. His eyes are upon sturdy, wealthy Farmer Shinar (Steve Pemberton) as her suitor. Fancy knows of her father's enthusiasm for Mr. Shinar; still his gruff, business-like proposal comes as a shock to her, but she promises to consider it.

Parson Maybold (Ben Miles) is another suitor. He is handsome, well-bred, and educated; but his lofty, intellectual airiness is so indirect, that Fancy doesn't realize his feelings for her.

It is with the young Dick Dewy (James Murray) that Fancy becomes friends. He comes from the lively home of the humble carrier, bustling with kids, and dogs, and friends who encompass the choir. His heart is taken by Fancy that first Christmas Eve, and he endeavors to win her by bettering himself. He also puts his best foot forward, by boldly venturing a kiss (not a bad move, considering he is devilishly handsome!). But Fancy's father vigorously objects to him.

Fancy is put into a predicament, trying to decide which path to take. The charms of the English country village are the background for this tale. The film moves through each season's music, work, and festive rites, as the story of Mellstock, and how Fancy becomes a part of it.

This film comes from Thomas Hardy's lovely homage to the English countryside. Under the Greenwood Tree is a wondrous work of humor, beauty, and heady romance.
0Comment16 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 January 2008
This really tasteful adptation was full of all thats good about Period Drama, or any entertainment come to that. A good and amusing storyline. A cast of well selected actors and actresses. A well presented setting. A well rounded family entertainment.
11 comment29 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 January 2006
Based loosely on the Thomas Hardy novel of the same name, those who liked the book may not appreciate this version as it bears little resemblance to the original. However ladies of a certain age and over will love the atmospheric scenes and gentle humour.
The plot follows a year in the life of Fancy Day, the beautiful new schoolteacher who arrives in the village amidst much speculation. Which of her 3 suitors will she eventually marry, the rich self-made man, the educated parson or the poor but drop dead gorgeous local lad?
Set just before the industrial revolution, against the background of the changing seasons, just right for a rainy Sunday afternoon.
33 comments122 of 134 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 November 2011
I must admit that I've not read the book, so the crew of authenticates out there will likely think my opinion invalid. Separate to Hardy, it was well acted, had a great cast, carried depth and had a passionate romance to boot. Really enjoyed it.
0Comment14 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 March 2014
Keeley Hawes plays her role brilliantly (as she always does). Most of the other characters were also good. Unfortunately I found the rendition by James Murray not quite believable. He seemed to polished and clean-shaven. I also think he "tried too hard" to appear genuine. It was one of those too clean and tidy period dramas, where sets are just too pristine to be genuine.

Not quite in the Sue Birtwistle league.

That said, I will probably watch it again.
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on 12 May 2007
I love adaptations of period dramas, especially those produced this side of the Atlantic. This one was 90odd minutes of enjoyment. Good casting, good acting and great location: not to mention the superb cinematography.
I am just an ordinary person who wishes to be entertained. I am not a scholarly egghead who always seem to insist on the filmed adaptation sticking strictly to the book from whence it was born. I have no idea whether or not this film was accurately portrayed or not...does it matter? I get a little tired of reading, usually, screenfulls of critique from clearly well educated, well read individuals and good luck to them. But they are missing the point. These visual productions, mostly intended for social viewing are intended to be entertainment. If one wishes to study literature in depth go to the library! It beggars belief that there often exists a general opinion that a book, sometime hundreds of pages in length can be brought to the screen for a two hour or so depiction with all the associated production difficulties and costs that necessarily go with it. Let us all just be thankful that that book usually provides a skeleton to work on and the rest is left to talented people, in front of and behind the cameras who bring us such pleasure.
This story is one of Thomas Hardy's ,shall we say, 'quieter' novels, but none the worse for that. There is no complex theme to follow, it is just a simple, straightforward love story. And one that we just know is going to turn out fine! It is all very enjoyable.
The only thing that surprised me about this film is how little I know about Jersey C.I. where the filming took place. I had no idea the countryside was so idylic in such a small island. The film 'snow' was a little bit dodgy but who cares.
0Comment53 of 62 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 January 2006
Having thoroughly enjoyed the ITV production, I was inspired again to read Hardy's book.What struck me in the book, was Hardy's light humour and optimism notwithstanding the impending major changes about to hit rural England with the onset of the industrial revolution.
Comparing the TV production/ book one is struck in the book by Fancy's greater vulnerability. Indeed, she is much younger and more coquettish than her TV counterpart with a keener interest in her appearance to the opposite sex, even after her engagement to Dick. In addition, her dilemma in marrying below her intellectual status caused her far greater consternation, evidenced by her immediate and rash acceptance of Maybold's hand in marriage notwithstanding her hard fought and love based engagement to Dick.
Hardy also infuses a greater optimism for Dick's future. Not only had his parents saved to provide him with a better education than his siblings, but by the end of the book he had already set up and commenced managing a branch of the family business elsewhere. With help from Fancy's father (much better off than his counterpart in the TV production) Fancy and Dick were not destined to share their first marital home with Dick's family, but immediately after the wedding moved into their own home outside the village.The future looked much more assured.
22 comments53 of 62 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 December 2013
This film is based on a Thomas Hardy novel and is quite well done. Unfortunately there hasn't been sufficient time to fully develop the characters so that the story becomes unconvincing. It would probably have been better treated as a mini-series. Nevertheless, I did enjoy it.
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on 18 March 2014
This is a lovely story as always never fails to disappoint. Hardy knew about prople he lived amongst and always captures every detail about their character and behaviour down to a fine art. He had the ability to see beyond the surface - a lovely gentle story.
0Comment2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I can understand the other reviewer's frustration and usually I am a terrible purist about adaptations of novels; but in this case, I'm afraid, it was necessary. I had not read the novel before seeing this adaptation and I must say that the writers extracted a charming love story from what is actually a very boring novel. Hardy clearly found the love story getting in the way of the point he wanted to make, which was his mourning for the loss of the rural and simple in the name of progress. The quire is doomed to fall before the harmonium, the reaper will fall before the threshing machine. But actually the love story is more interesting to a modern reader.
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22 comments21 of 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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