A good film of an exemplary graphic novel by Posy Simmonds.
By Tym Stevens
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.)