She wouldn’t fall for him. That’s the problem. Thomas Vinterberg’s film is something of a delight, especially Michael Sheen’s performance as the utterly decent Mr Boldwood, but it falls down on the crucial point that Bathsheba Everdene makes a choice that just doesn’t ring true.
Maybe it’s just the disappointment of seeing such a strong female character have her head turned by such a vacuous individual, but then people can be two things at once and a woman just making a choice in the era in which the film is based is victory enough. It just doesn’t fit with the character presented here.
But this is solid, familiar, good looking stuff, not to dissimilar too a tin of biscuits at Christmas. When it hits TV they’ll screen it on a Sunday evening and it’ll do perfectly nicely.