The Woodlanders

Film

Period and swashbuckler films

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Time Out says

Best known for spending a year in a remote Chinese village for his documentary series Beyond the Clouds, Agland comes down to earth with this, his first fiction film (scripted by David Rudkin). On the edge of the New Forest, the daughter of a sawmill owner (Woof), whose father has hopes for her betterment, loves a woodsman (Sewell), but is edged into marriage to a doctor (MacAninch). Result, tragedy. Underplaying the extreme melodramatics of Thomas Hardy's novel (a self-defeating exercise, perhaps) while hammering home the class theme, the movie feels tired and draggy even at ninety-odd minutes - and the blame rests squarely with Agland, whose direction is flat and uninspired. The scenes simply don't breathe, though the women in particular perform heroic acts of hopeless resuscitation.
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Release details

UK release:

1997

Duration:

98 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Phil Agland

Cast:

Walter Sparrow, Emily Woof, Cal MacAninch, Tony Haygarth, Polly Walker, Jodhi May, Rufus Sewell, Sheila Burrell

Music:

George Fenton

Production Designer:

Andy Harris

Editor:

David Dickie

Cinematography:

Ashley Rowe

Screenwriter:

David Rudkin

Producer:

Phil Agland, Barney Reisz

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