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Posts Tagged ‘Nicholas Laughland’

When this feature-length ITV drama starring Keeley Hawes and James Murray was first shown, I remember being disappointed. As a lifelong fan of Thomas Hardy, I’d just reread the novel and was struck by how different the TV version was from the original story, with many changes to the plot and characters.

However, I gave it another try when it was repeated this Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed it this time round. Maybe it was because the book wasn’t so fresh in my mind, or perhaps I was just in a better mood for it!

under_the_greenwood_tree

The sleeve of the German DVD - in Britain this film was shown by ITV rather than the BBC

 The film was made to be shown at Christmas and, like the book, has a far sunnier mood than most of Hardy – with the focus on the happier side of rural life. I’ve read comments made by Hardy himself in later life  suggesting that he had treated his chorus of villagers too lightly and too much as comic relief in this book – but I think maybe he was being a little hard on himself here. His affection for and enjoyment of the place he came from come across vividly, along with his awareness of its limitations. The film reflects this, featuring humorous conversations involving the villagers but never mocking or dismissing them.  

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