Posy Simmonds wrote and illustrated this contemporary spoof based on Thomas Hardy’s "Far from the Madding Crowd" (1874) as a serial for the British activist paper, The Guardian. [Simmond’s had previously done this with "Gemma Bovery" (2000), a modern twist on Gustave Flaubert’s "Madame Bovary" (1856).] Interweaving texts with comics, rotating narrators and perspectives, she plaits commentary and satire about modern urban and rural life with a wry literary wit. At the center is Tamara Drewe, a decent enough soul whose beauty evinces regrettable reactions all around.
Famed indie director Stephen Frears does a fine job capturing the plot and tone of the graphic novel, with some compression and tweaks. And central star Gemma Arterton steals her own film away from a solid cast with her bemused tartness.
(Gemma Arterton naturally played Gemma Bovery in the 2014 film adaption.)