The WoodlandersThis beautiful and lyrical film was released in February of 1998 in the UK. An adaptation of Thomas Hardy's book of repression, divorce and social status, the book was supposedly the authors favourite amongst hs own work.
Rufus Sewell played Giles Winterbourne
Emily Woof played Grace Melbury
From Marina, Australia
This is far too subtle a film for the average modern cinema-goer used to a diet of slam, wham, in-your-face sex and excitement and expecting the quick fix. This is 19th Century Hardy ... rural, contemplative, repressed ... dark scenes with lanterns and candles ... the soggy woodland ... bluebells ... autumn leaves ... fermenting cider apples ... horse manure ... the road "winding o'er the lea".. a pace of life all but forgotten today. It is a film to be savoured at leisure.
Despite some criticisms, I believe in time many will come to see Phil Agland's gentle film as a gem and also containing one of Rufus Sewell's great performances ... this poor, uneducated and inarticulate man with his longings locked away inside. In the scene where he realises he is losing Grace to Dr Fitzpiers and his eyes fill with just that trace of tears, I was almost overwhelmed myself. It took consummate skill to play this role and those critics who were unmoved, even called it "wooden", are just too wooden-headed themselves to see what a piece of art it is. Bravo Rufus! .