Music Break: Far From The Madding Crowd (2015)


I’m in the romantic period drama mood this week as I’ve been listening to the beautiful scores for Pride & Prejudice, Belle (one of my top 10 scores of 2014)… and this one. Though I wasn’t as enamored as I would have with Far From The Madding Crowd (due to the Tom Sturridge miscasting as Troy), I actually want to see this again. It’s too bad because all the promos of Bathsheba and him kissing in the woods are so breathtakingly gorgeous… I think he works better in a still shot :\

But one of the things I do LOVE about this film is the absolutely gorgeous music by Scottish composer Craig Armstrong. I’m going to have to do a separate tribute for him as I love his work, esp. for Moulin Rouge!, Love Actually and The Great Gatsby. But for now, I just want to highlight his work on this film.

Here’s Hollow in the Ferns track, which reminds me a bit of John Barry’s Somewhere in Time.


I adore Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba, she is lovely and believable as the strong yet vulnerable heroine. I’ve been a fan of her as an actress but I also love her voice! She sang in Inside Llewyn Davis but I really, really like her singing voice here. Let No Man Steal Your Thyme is featured in the trailer as well and it’s just beautiful! I definitely would include her on my list of actors who are surprisingly good singers.


Come all you fair and tender girls
That flourish in your prime
Beware, beware

Keep your garden fair
Let no man steal your thyme
Let no man steal your thyme.

For when your thyme it is past and gone
He’ll care no more for you
And every place where your thyme was waste
Will all spread o’er with rue
Will all spread o’er with rue.
The gardener’s son was standing by
Three flowers he gave to me

The pink, the blue, and the violet true
And the red, red rosy tree
And the red, red rosy tree.

But I refused the red rose bush
And gained the willow tree
That all the world may plainly see
How my love slighted me
How my love slighted me


Hope you enjoy today’s Music Break. What score(s) have you been listening to lately?

24 thoughts on “Music Break: Far From The Madding Crowd (2015)

  1. Watched this last week and the music is a highlight but I was disappointed in the film overall. Perhaps because I’m such a big fan of the ’67 version, which also had a lovely score. That didn’t happen on my first view but each time I watched again I fell under its spell more and more until now I just love it. So maybe I might grow to like this more if I ever watch again but the abbreviated time makes me think not. An hour of story is a lot to lose when you know what’s missing.

    I love Carey Mulligan and she made an interesting Bathsheba but I preferred Julie Christie’s take on the role. The performance I liked best was Matthias Schoenaerts, though again I favor Alan Bates’s Gabriel Oak, but his role took a hit in the compressing of the material however the one who took a real hit was poor Michael Sheen. Boldwood was such a rich fascinating character but this really gutted him, a pity because Sheen is an actor capable of making him compelling though the bar was set very high by Peter Finch. So glad you mentioned the weak link that was Tom Sturridge, God he was an empty vessel! Whereas Terence Stamp and his ice blue eyes and cool detachment made Troy so memorable in the first Sturridge couldn’t get out of his own way and the other performers wiped him off the screen. A beautiful looking disappointment but a disappointment nonetheless.

    1. Hello Joel! I hear ya. I haven’t seen the ’67 version but even looking at the cast, I just thought Terrence Stamp looked far more suitable in the role of Troy. I should check that out soon as a lot of people seem to prefer that version. I do love the production quality of this one, it’s so lush and atmospheric. I like Matthias’ Gabriel Oak, he seems genuinely honest which is integral for that character. Yes, Sturridge is an empty vessel, ahah. I just can’t imagine ANY respectable woman would fall for someone like that, he looks like something out of a British boy band! I have the same issue w/ CHERI w/ Michelle Pfeiffer where they cast Rupert Friend as a young Casanova who isn’t even the slightest bit seductive.

  2. I loved this film. I’ve also seen the one from 1996, but I like this one better.

    It definitely has beautiful soundtrack . I didn’t realize Craig Armstrong did it. Moulin Rouge is one of my favorite films. He also did a gorgeous song from the Cruel Intentions soundtrack: “This Love”

    1. Hi Tiffany! Hmmm, which one is the 1996 version? Is that the one w/ Jonathan Firth? I think my friend might’ve mentioned that.

      Yeah, I need to spotlight Craig Armstrong as I LOVE a lot of his stuff. I have Moulin Rouge playing in my car for weeks at one time, love that one. I didn’t know about the Cruel Intentions one, I should look that up.

  3. Agree Far From The Madding Crowd has a nice score, I especially love the first track “Opening”. Others from 2015 I liked, “YES (Love Theme From Lost River)” ,”Brothers In Arms” from Mad Max : Fury Road, and “Para One” from Girlhood

    1. Hello Chris! It’s just a pretty score, as pretty as the costumes & scenery. Oh I LOVE the Fury Road score, my hubby plays that often in the car. Girlhood is a nice one too, I even like the Diamond one by Rihanna as I love the scene it’s played in.

  4. I love this soundtrack Ruth. Let No Man Steal Your Thyme is beautiful but The Opening and Boldwood Variation are my favourites. The score is one of my favourite things about the film! While I enjoyed the movie as a whole, I had issues with the way the script tones down the darkness in Hardy’s book and smoothes out the harsher edges of his characters. Carey Mulligan and Michael Sheen put in fine performances though.

    1. I love the lush melody and hymnal quality of the score. It fits the tone of the film perfectly. I feel like the film just moved too fast, like a cliff-notes version of the story. It’s the same issue I had w/ the 2011 Jane Eyre. I think this story deserves something more of a miniseries so it can delve into the characters and issues more.

    1. Hello Cindy! Isn’t it beautiful? I figure you’d enjoy Craig’s style. He’s done a lot of great scores, I’d think you like The Great Gatsby one too.

        1. Of course! You’re ALWAYS teaching me something new on your blog 😀 Btw, been having issues connecting to some WP blogs lately, but finally your site loads for me now.

  5. Nice romantic score from Craig Armstrong. I particularly liked his mash-up of a score for Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet.

    Thanks for highlighting it Ruth. Probably one of the best romantic score I’ve heard since Marianelli’s Pride & Prejudice.

    Some of my favorite romantic scores are Michael Nyman’s The Piano, Trevor Jones’s The Last of the Mohicans and Michael Convertino’s Children of a Lesser God. The latter containing one of my favorite pieces of film music ever. Marlee Matlin was spectacular in the movie and still to this day is the youngest actress to win Best Actress in a Lead Role at the ripe old age of 21 edging out Jennifer Lawrence at 22. To put that in perspective the youngest Best Actor winner in a Lead Role was Adrian Brody at 29.

    Been a fan of Vinterberg’s since his Dogme 95 film The Celebration… which I thought was the best of the Dogme 95 films. Isn’t Carey Mulligan just cute as a button? Not sure when I’ll get around to checking this out though.

    As far as what I’ve been digging music wise it’s been on TV… what else? The score for Mr. Robot, on USA, by Mac Quayle. I love how the music slowly creeps in at the 40 second mark and creates a sense of uneasiness from this scene in the finale (NO SPOILERS). Very reminiscent of Under The Skin’s music starring Scarlett Johansson.

    Can’t say enough about the new series on USA. Heavily influenced by Kubrick and Fincher with a touch of American Psycho thrown in. There’s really nothing like it on TV right now. The less you know going in… the better. It’s a little slow and confusing at first but after the 5th episode it starts to go off the rails in the best possible way.

    1. Hello Dave! I actually prefer his collaboration w/ Baz Luhrmann on Moulin Rouge but yeah, it’s a good one too! Oh I LOVE the score for The Last of the Mohicans, it’s one of my brother’s all time faves as well. Great trivia about Marlee Matlin, wonder what she’s working on now, if she’s still in the business.

      Hey, I just emailed you about Mr Robot. I still need to catch that and Under The Skin. It’s funny that someone said to me recently that Mr Robot is a scifi about humans and HUMANS is a scifi about robots, ahah.

  6. I haven’t seen this one yet. Too bad it doesn’t live up to its potential.
    The only scores I’ve been listening to, besides the ones in all the movies I’m seeing at TIFF, is on the TIFF hold music. The other day it was playing a 4 song loop, and 2 of them came from Django Unchained, which seemd weird.

    1. Hi Jay! You must be enjoying TIFF, how lucky are you! I still think this film is worth a watch, as there are things I do love about it. Oh I’ve never heard of TIFF hold music, I have to look that up now. I’d love to go back to TIFF again one day.

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