This isn't the best adaptation of Thomas Hardy's romantic novel. That honor belongs to a British TV adaptation from 1998 which featured the definitive Bathsheba Everdene in Paloma Baeza. But that version also had the advantage of being a miniseries and being able to preserve more of the source material than a feature length film could. But for my money this is better than the 1967 version starring Julie Christie, who wasn't really right for the lead. She was too modern, too sophisticated, too out of place in the world of Thomas Hardy. Carey Mulligan, on the other hand, is quite well cast--even if she manages to make the proud and frustrating Bathsheba a bit softer and more likable than the author likely intended. This is a satisfying filming of perhaps Thomas Hardy's least depressing novel. There's tragedy to be sure but there's also an almost Jane Austen like love story of two people who are clearly meant to be together, in spite of circumstances and bad choices that conspire to keep them apart. This being Thomas Hardy you actually don't know if the would be lovers will actually end up together in the end. Definitely worth watching if you like period romantic flicks like Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Austen, who is much lighter but still not as far removed as from Thomas Hardy's more overtly tragic novels.