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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 16 May 2017
A joy to watch, despite those who have poo-pooed it - compering it with 'Far from the Maddening Crowd'.
Under the Greenwood Tree is well made includes a variety of excellent actors, who portray a very pleasing
and often humorous storyline.
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on 27 April 2017
Fabulous viewing beautifully portrayed.
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on 20 April 2017
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on 22 March 2014
I have always considered Thomas Hardy one of the most depressing authors of the English language so when I read that under the greenwood tree was actually cheerful and had a happy ending I just had to see it. However... be aware, under the smiles and so on this is about as cheerful as an erupting volcanoe. The girl has three beaux. Personally, I would have run a mile from each of them. However, she chooses the handsomest and the least suitable. On the other hand, why complain? Happens in real life all the time.
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on 5 September 2011
It's quite difficult to rate this film, only reviewed in the aspect of acting and plot it is a fine film, but it got absolutely nothing to do with Hardy's "Under the Greenwood tree". The only thing it has in common with the book are the same names, the story about the choir and maybe the structure. But that is it.
All the wit and irony was completely ignored which makes the novel such a good read. The character of Fancy, as sympathetic she might be in the film, is completely different to the one in the book. While in the novel she is a light hearted and superficial girl who minds too much about her looking, in the film Fancy is concerning and anything but vain.
Or Dick. Hardy's Dick is a shy man too blinded by his love for Fancy to see the cracks in her character. He is a simple man wanting simple things. But the Dick in the film might be a simple man but yearning for more and being much more demanding and outgoing than the one you got to know in the novel.
And there is a character never ever mentioned in the book, a girl who is in love with Dick, where does she come from? What does she got to do with the story? Nothing than to make it more obvious to those viewers who haven't seen it yet that Dick and Fancy are from two different worlds.

So if you read the book before watching as I did you will be dissapointed because you will find none of the spirit of the book on screen. The book and the characters were only taken to make a typical rom-com film, keeping anything "disturbing" ot of it.
But if you haven't read the film you sure will like this film. But still, you should read the novel, it is much more entertaining.
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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.
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on 7 November 2015
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on 4 May 2017
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Thomas Hardy tended to write rather bleak novels even if they ended happily (which they usually didn't). But the one exception is "Under the Greenwood Tree," a little rural romance about going with your heart.

And the BBC kept that frothy lightness alive in their 2005 adaptation, which makes the wildly underrated Keeley Hawes the center of rural romance in a small village. There's not much plot here except every single man being obsessed with the beautiful new schoolteacher, but the misunderstandings and fiery sexual tension -- as well as a subplot about a harmonium -- keep it moving quickly.

Beautiful and educated Fancy Day (Hawes) arrives in the little village of Mellstock to teach at school and care for her aging father Geoffrey (Tom Georgeson). Geoffrey dreams of Fancy marrying into what he sees is her rightful place, and she quickly has three devoted swains in Mellstock -- the cultured and ambitious Parson Maybold (Ben Miles), kind and wealthy Mr. Shiner (Steve Pemberton), and humble but handsome Dick Dewy (James Murray).

Also, there's this subplot about Maybold buying a harmonium, which infuriates the locals who have always made music in church with fiddles and choir voices. Maybold is kind of snobby and inflexible, so eventually they take matters into their own hands.

Meanwhile, Fancy begins to fall in love with Dick, but believes that they can't be together because he comes from a lower social class. But she can't bring herself to consider marrying Mr. Shiner or Parson Maybold, even though each would be an excellent match. Misunderstandings, rumors and stolen kisses complicate matters further, and Fancy must decide whether her heart or her head will determine who she marries.

There isn't a lot of plot in "Under The Greenwood Tree" -- it's pretty much about three men pursuing Fancy romantically, and her waffling about what to do. There are some subplots floating around, such as Dick wanting to expand his family's business so that he will be a better-qualified suitor for Fancy.... but for the most part, it's just the web of romantic issues.

So the TV movie is best appreciated as a pleasant little fluff piece, with lots of beautiful pastoral scenery and some picturesque village cottages, and plenty of scenes of dancing, fiddling and people drinking homemade cider. The comic relief is a bit tasteless (did we need farts and Mr. Shiner stepping on poop?), but director Nicholas Laughland knows how to provide a lot of sexual tension, including an oddly erotic scene of two people washing their hands in the same bowl.

It's also pleasant that there are no "bad" people in this story. Some of the locals do something wrong involving booze, but they're not bad at heart. The same goes for Fancy's suitors -- Mr. Shiner is a genuinely good, kind, sweet man, just not one Fancy is in love with; and despite the pastor being kind of snobby, he's genuinely in love with Fancy and wants her to be happy.

Hawes gives a magnificent performance here, and she instantly becomes the center of every scene she's in. Fancy is not a perfect person -- she can be a bit snobby at times -- but she's an endearing person who genuinely doesn't want to hurt any of her suitors. And she has brilliant chemistry with Murray, especially when Fancy flirtatiously hides his shirt and subsequently gets pushed over in the river.

Compared to most adaptations of classic novels, "Under the Greenwood Tree" is a fluff piece -- but it's such a pretty, endearing, with likable characters, pretty scenery, and Keeley Hawes. Who could want more?
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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.
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