Thomas Vinterberg takes on Thomas Hardy with Far from the Madding Crowd, the latest director to tackle the esoteric Wessex writer's work, but can he possibly aspire to match John Schlesinger, Julie Christie and Terence Stamp? He's not behind the screenplay, however, which is my main source of concern for this film, since it comes from David Nicholls, whose work I roundly do not enjoy. This is one of a handful of period dramas that has opted for a 2015 release rather than join the current Oscar race, like the now-pretty-much-officially-pushed-back Suite Francaise (also starring Matthias Schoenaerts with an equally impeccable English accent), and Alan Rickman's tepidly-received directorial debut, TIFF holdover A Little Chaos. With its curious 1st of May release date in both UK and US alike, however, perhaps Vinterberg's film isn't being aimed at awards voters next year; maybe it'll make an appearance at Berlin 2015. The gratifyingly female-dominated crew includes Vinterberg's DP on The Hunt, the very talented Charlotte Bruus Christensen doing the cinematography.