Above is the first trailer for Thomas Vinterberg’s return to English-language filmmaking, Far From The Madding Crowd. Based on Thomas Hardy’s literary classic, it’s the story of the beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (for whom a certain Hunger Games heroine is named) and her choices and passions when faced with three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer who’s captivated by her fetching wilfulness; Frank Troy, a handsome and reckless sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor. Carey Mulligan plays Bathsheba with Matthias Schoenaerts as Oak, Tom Sturridge as Troy and Michael Sheen as Boldwood. (Sidenote: In the trailer, Mulligan and Sheen are the ones performing the theme music, Let No Man Steal Your Thyme.)
I had originally hoped to see this in Cannes, and then it wasn’t to be ready, so fingers were crossed for the fall festivals. But the film took its time in post-production and Fox Searchlight may now be eyeing a Cannes 2015 berth. The film is currently dated for May 1 in the UK and U.S., but that could certainly change, and Cannes has been very welcoming to Vinterberg whose Oscar-nominated The Hunt began its career there in 2012.
After shooting Madding Crowd, Vinterberg told me it was “a really great experience,” even though he joked he “had to shoot 210 scenes in nine weeks with bad English weather.” The director is currently making Danish-language drama The Commune with a cast led by Ulrich Thomsen, Trine Dyrholm, Fares Fares and Lars Ranthe.