When it’s over, not one of the better film adaptations of Thomas Hardy’s tragic story of love and loss. Set in 19th centuryrural England, childhood sweethearts, Giles and Grace (Rufus Sewell and Emily Woof) vow to love each other and marry. Giles promises to wait for Grace when she goes abroad for schooling. Upon her return, Grace is persuaded by her father to marry a young doctor. This decision sets in motion the tragedy that befalls both characters. This complex story cannot be told in just over 90 minutes, and that is the tragedy of this film. There simply is not enough time for me to get to know the characters and to be pulled in by their suffering. Many of Hardy’s book to film adaptations have run over three hours, so why didn’t Woodlanders get the same treatment? It’s like adapting a Charles Dickens’s book into a 90 minute film. Impossible – to capture the essence of the characters.
My rating: 2 out of 5