Far From the Madding Crowd (2015)
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Writers: David Nicholls, from Thomas Hardy's novel
I have not read any of Hardy's novels, despite majoring in English at uni; I was always more of a Jane Austen/ eighteenth century/ medieval literature girl. However, I am not one to sniff at watching a historical drama, particularly one directed by Vinterberg and starring Carey Mulligan, one of my favourite actors. I vaguely knew the story going in: a young, independent woman is proposed to by three different men. The independent nature of the heroine was another attraction.
I really liked this film: the acting was top-notch, particularly from Mulligan, and the costumes and scenery luscious. My only gripe was with the story, a problem that by rights I should have with Hardy rather than the script. I am not one who generally enjoys random twists, or melodrama, and Madding has a bit of each. However, I found it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. Vinterberg managed both well, directing his actors to not overdo their performances; he also didn't dwell on the twists, but moved on with the story.
If you like 'period dramas' as a genre, you would definitely like this; it is one of the best in the last few years.