In 1926, life was good for Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) and his wife, Gerda (Alicia Vikander). The couple lived comfortably in Copenhagen as aspiring artists; Einar specialized in landscapes, and Gerda painted portraits. When not working, they enjoyed a lively social life, hobnobbing with the city’s social elite and members of the arts community, such as their good friend, Ulla (Amber Heard), a colorful though somewhat flighty ballet dancer. But, above all, they were madly in love with one another. They were also anxious to start a family, a process that wasn’t going too well (but at which they nevertheless kept trying).
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Anyone who thinks they can “tame” Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) is in for a rude awakening. Even though the independent, self-confident, charismatic young woman’s approach to life is rather uncommon for 19th Century England, she makes it perfectly clear that she will do as she will, no matter what others may say or think (especially men). She particularly enjoys challenges, and, when she inherits a sizable though somewhat-rundown farm from her uncle, she gets her chance to prove to everyone just what she can do. As the mistress of her estate, she vows to reverse the farm’s fortunes – and to expand upon those she’s already amassed.