The Woodlanders

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Rating: PG

Starring:
Emily Woof as Grace Melbury
Rufus Sewell as Giles Winterbourne
Cal Macaninch as Dr. FitzPiers
Tony Haygarth as Mr. Melbury
Jodhi May as Marty South
Polly Walker as Mrs. Charmond
Walter Sparrow as Old Creedle
Sheila Burrell as Grandma Oliver
Amanda Ryan as Sukey damson

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital Sound
Running Time: 95 Minutes

Synopsis:
This film was originally released in 1997. The following is from the DVD cover:

“This award-winning motion picture is a must-see adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s timeless tale! After being away at school, Grace (Emily Woof — “The Full Monty,” “Velvet Goldmine”) feels she’s outgrown her rural hometown and childhood sweetheart, a simple woodsman named Giles (Rufus Sewell — “Extreme Ops,” “A Knight’s Tale”). She longs to travel abroad with the rich widow Mrs. Charmond (Polly Walker — “8 1/2 Women,” “Emma,” “Enchanted April”) and marries a handsome young doctor. But Grace soon learns that culture is no substitute for true love. Honored with awards at numerous international film festivals, the first-rate cast of “The Woodlanders” brings this treasured tale to life!”

The Woodlanders is rated PG for thematic elements and mild language.

The Movie:
To get to the point, I didn’t like The Woodlanders at all. It was slow, boring, and the ending was dark and depressing. I can’t discuss the ending much without ruining it, but suffice it to say that it’s not a happy one. As the movie began, I also found it really hard to follow who everyone was, what their relationships were, and what was going on. It was some time into the movie before that was sorted out.

On the brighter side, it’s a great looking film. The settings are alternately beautiful and dark and they fit the story well. The costumes are good for a period piece. The acting is also decent. Rufus Sewell as Giles Winterbourne looks like he’s related to Jude Law. That being said, though, the acting and setting don’t mean much if the story’s not there.

The Extras:
There are no bonus features on this DVD.

The Bottom Line:
About the only people who will enjoy The Woodlanders are those who have read the Thomas Hardy novel and people that like depressing romantic period films. Everyone else should pass.

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