Top positive review
83 people found this helpful
on 6 October 2009
This is a truly splendid production. Ted Whitehead's screenplay manages to capture the spirit of the book and yet deliver a fluent and stimulating dramatization. The production design and art design are extraordinarily beautiful and convincing in their detail. All the cast carry off their roles well. Ciaran Hinds as the Mayor is just about perfect - his impetuosity and passionate temperament are totally believable. Jodhi May is affecting as his "daughter" - some of their scenes together linger long afterwards in the memory. Juliet Aubrey is wonderful in a part quite unlike any I have seen her in, and she "ages" brilliantly. James Purefoy is terrific as the Scotsman Farfrae - never a swagger. The story is engaging and deeply moving. It is one Hardy's best books and this is surely one of the best adaptations of Hardy ever put to screen.
The only bugbear is that the DVD product says, on the box, that it has a number of special features. None actually appears on the disc. Also there are no subtitles. It is a good looking and sounding transfer, but the unfulfilled promise of more is a disappointment. The film itself is so good I cannot bring myself to deduct a star for the omissions.