The Mayor of Casterbridge (2003)
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Produced for the BBC in 2001, The Mayor of Casterbridge is the second British miniseries version of Thomas Hardy's 1886 novel (the first was filmed in 1978). This time, Ciarán Hinds stars as Michael Henchard, an unemployed drunkard who, in a moment of greedy delirium, sells his wife, Susan (Juliet Aubrey), and their infant daughter, Elizabeth Jane, to a passing sailor -- for a price of five pounds. Sobering up the next day, Henchard conducts a frenzied search for his family, only to find that they have already gone. Swearing off liquor, Henchard promises to re-invent himself as a solid and dependable citizen. He succeeds so thoroughly in this endeavor that, 18 years later, he has risen to the rank of mayor of Casterbridge. About to make his reformation complete by wedding attractive young Lucetta (Polly Walker), Henchard is aghast to discover that his wife and now-grown daughter (played as an adult by Jodhi May), have returned home. Hounded by his conscience, Henchard bends over backward to make amends to his loved ones -- only to revert to his old, disreputable self when things go terribly wrong. Meanwhile, a new intrigue has blossomed vis-ŕ-vis a romantic triangle involving Elizabeth Jane, Lucetta, and handsome, righteous Donald Farfrae (James Purefoy). The Mayor of Casterbridge made its U.S. debut August 17, 2003, on the A&E cable channel. … More
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as Michael Henchard
as Donald Farfrae
as Susan Henchard
as Abel Whittle
as Joshua Jopp
as Mrs. Stannidge
as Councilor Vall
as Lucetta's Maid
as Mother Cuxsom
as Christopher Conly
as Solomon Longways
as Vagrant Woman
as Nance Mockridge
as Staylaces Dealer
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Critic Reviews for The Mayor of Casterbridge
Audience Reviews for The Mayor of Casterbridge
Though I have not read this Hardy novel, I am familiar with the classic author (Return of the Native, Tess of the d'Urbevilles). This work seemed to be true to Hardy, and to the time and culture he was writing about. It is colorful, lovely to look at, suspenseful when appropriate, and has a measure of tragedy. I like the work BBC does with classics. They are always authentic.
What a depressing story of a life filled with bad choices! Seriously bad choices and bad timing. Yet you still felt as though he would have liked to redeem himself but just never could and didn't when he had the chance. All a credit to Mr. Hinds' fine acting. Cannot believe Mr. Farfrae "fell in love" with Lucetta who was a little too calculating and a little too old for him. Glad to see he ended up with Elizabeth. James Purefoy was nice to watch and Jodhi May did a good job as well. Still, what a depressing story.
Fine acting. Nice camera work. Gripping plot. Thought-provoking themes. The only downside is a musical score that is overly repetitive.
The main character is a tragic anti-hero whose slight flaws cause major pain in the lives of all around him. But at the same time he is a very respected man and does much good.
The movie makes you realize the large impact of your small choices. It also shows how the world would be a better place if people were less jealous, more forgiving, less critical, more accepting, less dogmatic, more kind, etc.
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