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Far From the Madding Crowd | 2015 | PG-13 | - 5.4.2

Based on the Victorian classic by Thomas Hardy, an independent woman (Carey Mulligan) inherits a farm and attracts three suitors: One is a sheepherder (Matthias Schoenaerts), another is an army sergeant (Tom Sturridge), and the last a rich older man (Michael Sheen). The woman suffers difficulties in choosing from among the three, as she attempts to manage her farm and livestock. Also with Juno Temple. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg. [2:00]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A man lies on top of a clothed woman in a shadowy bed (we see his bare chest, abdomen, back, shoulders and arms) as the man thrusts slightly and asks, "Do you like it?" and the woman nods positively.
 A woman on horseback rides up to a man, dismounts and tells him to ask her to marry him; instead, he kisses her passionately for several seconds and then kisses her briefly again before walking hand-in-hand. A woman tells a man that she has never been kissed; he kisses her passionately and while kissing her he thrusts his hand hard into her groin and we hear her moan, and then he walks away and leaves her.
 A man kisses a female corpse on the lips (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A husband and his wife kiss briefly at a party. A woman blows a kiss to a soldier in the town square; at work the next morning coworkers tell the boss that the woman ran off with the soldier. A woman smiles at two different men in church in three scenes and they return her smiles. Teaching a woman to grind knife blades on a millstone, a man places his arms around her to guide her hands and she shrugs him off.
 A woman sends a valentine card that includes the words, "Marry me" to a man as sort of a joke, a way to get attention, and he takes it seriously; she apologizes but he asks her to marry him several times over a year or so, and she always declines. A man proposes to a woman several times and he says that he does not mind if she does not desire him or love him, as long as she respects and likes him (she declines and marries another man).
 At a wedding reception at a farm two dozen drunken men (please see the Substance Use category for more details) sing about a woman who it is implied has sex with all the men in town; every women at the party raises their eyebrows and they all leave together, including the bride.
 A man meets his impoverished ex-lover at a carnival and she is pregnant with his child; we see her moderately swollen belly beneath her long skirts (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 A man falls in love with a female neighbor, she rejects his marriage proposal, and he says that he will stay by her side as a friend and advocate. A man interested in a woman tells another man that he knows he has been in love with her. A man tells a woman that she should not lead men on whom she does not love. A man tells a woman that she is beautiful and she says that she does not like to hear it.
 On three mornings in a bedroom, we see a man walk around shirtless, revealing shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen and back while a woman is clothed in a heavy long-sleeved gown and under covers, looking disgusted. A man wears a V-neck shirt that reveals part of his chest. A woman wears a high-necked long sleeve blouse that has some areas of see-through lace across the shoulders. Two male fighters fight shirtless, revealing arms, backs and chests and their long pants are clingy. Having left his clothing on shore, a man swims in the ocean and we see his bare back, throat, arms and upper chest briefly.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man presumed dead returns home months later and goes to a Christmas party where his wife walks outside in the snow and looks stunned to see him; he says he wants money and begins screaming at her to come home and give him money when another man walks out with a shotgun and shoots and kills the first man (we see some blood on the fallen man's jacket front); the camera cuts to the shooter entering a prison cell and sitting down as a heavy door closes on him.
 A pregnant woman walks through high winds at nightfall, finally reaches a workhouse, but staggers, stumbles and falls to her knees; the camera cuts to a coffin rolling by the camera on a horse-drawn cart and it is implied that the woman died. A man swims in a bay and far out into the ocean and later that day, two male police officers inform his wife that he drowned; she staggers away, looking dazed.
 The body of a woman in a coffin is prepared for burial and a woman pries open the coffin to find the bodies of her former servant (who was her husband's former fiancée) and the servant's newborn child, whose skin on the face and hands is a dull blue; the woman gasps and covers her mouth in horror as the woman's husband walks in and kisses the corpse on the lips, crying as he tells his wife, "You are nothing to me now."
 A farmer shoots a dog, pointing his shotgun off-screen toward it and we hear the loud gunshot. A woman shoots a pheasant off-screen.
 In the middle of the night, a sheepdog runs sheep through a pen, breaking it and on to a high cliff above the sea where the sheep run off one by one; the camera cuts to the other side of the cliff and we see several sheep land on large rocks, smashed (no blood) and dozens of sheep bodies lie on the muddy sand by the water; the sheep farmer kneels and cries, and then pounds the ground and shouts. Sheep begin to die of "the bloat" from eating a clover that causes gas and we see the use of a clean screwdriver to pierce the bulging flank of the first sick sheep that is lying on its side (no blood shows); we hear gas release and see the sheep get up and run away.
 A man helps put out a barn fire and the screen fills with tall flames and smoke as men run back and forth, shouting and dousing the flames with water; several men push a cart of burning wheat in bags out of the barn and snuff the flames while one man douses himself in water, climbs a ladder to the bark and thatch roof and chops out the fire with a large axe. A man and a woman in a thunderstorm cover tall stacks of wheat with canvas; she screams at the lightning and nearly falls, but he catches her as we hear loud thunderclaps and see covers blowing in a high wind.
 A soldier demonstrates his sword drill to a woman in the forest in the early morning, slicing the air around her head and shoulders with loud whooshing noises, ending with the sharp blade at her throat; she looks at her hand and says her finger is cut, but we do not see the finger or blood.
 A crowd around a ring of two bare-knuckle fighters shouts and cheers as the fighters punch each other and one fighter falls and does not get back up (we see no blood).
 A woman hires a lazy supervisor from a wheat farm and she raises her voice as he back talks to her, and then finally leaves quietly. A woman argues mildly a few times with her sheepherder about two of her suitors, she fires him and then begs him to return, riding after him on horseback. A farmer shouts at his sheepdog several times because it does not herd sheep well. A husband and his wife argue repeatedly about money. A husband demands money from his wife and when she refuses, he stalks out of the room angrily. A husband and his wife encounter a poor woman begging at a carnival and the husband tells his wife to return to their carriage; the man speaks to the woman, who is his ex-fiancée, and she tells him that she is pregnant. We hear that a woman's parents died when she was young and we see her inherit a farm after she reads a letter that her uncle died and left it to her. We hear that a man has a gambling problem and see him lose a large amount on a boxing match.
 A woman carries a lantern and walks along the edge of a forest at night; she trips and catches her long skirt on a tree root as she meets a soldier who says he is lost and they struggle with the caught skirt until we hear her rip it away.


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LANGUAGE 2 - 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (stupid, fool, strange, wicked, lump, joke), stereotypical references to men, women, the rich, the poor, class differences, farmers, career military officers, 5 religious exclamations (Dear God, Good Lord, Oh My Goodness, Two hymns sung in church).


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SUBSTANCE USE - Several party scenes and one large dinner feature men and women drinking glasses of wine as well as tin cups of unknown beverages and brass cups of brandy, two dozen men become drunk at a party and sing drinking songs loudly (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details), a group of men watching a bare-knuckle fight at a carnival drink alcoholic drinks from metal cups while shouting and slurring some of their words an untouched carafe of wine is seen on a dining room table, an untouched glass of wine is seen on a side table. A man smokes a pipe at a dinner table, a man smokes in a bedroom and exhales an enormous cloud of smoke, a man plays with a lighted thin cigar and snuffs it out in an ashtray.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Love triangles, independent women, women in business, relationships, infatuation, love, marriage, selfishness, loss, patience, conflict, death, justice, cooperation, heartbreak, forgiveness, happiness.

MESSAGE - True love maintains patience through times of joy and sorrow and is steadfast.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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