Monday, June 6, 2011

Review: Under the Greenwood Tree

I happened to be looking through Netflix to see what movies I could watch. It occurred to me that I have seen Under the Greenwood Tree mentioned on Old-Fashioned Charm. And (to my liking) I found that it was available on live streaming. So I watched it one evening.

Box Art

Miss Fancy Day, a young educated woman, comes to live in a village in order to care for her ailing father and becomes the teacher of the local school. Three men immediately fall in love with her and want to marry her: the rich Mr. Shiner, the poor, hard-working Dick Dewey, and the local vicar Mr. Maybold.

There are two members of the cast that I recognized. Keeley Hawes (Fancy Day) was Cynthia Kirkpatrick in Wives and Daughters (her character I found more likable in this movie), and Ben Miles (Mr. Maybold) was Sir Timothy Midwinter in the first season of Lark Rise to Candleford.

This story was a lighthearted story, so most of the plot didn't have anything too sad in it. Part of the story has to do with the church choir being replaced with a harmonia played by Fancy. This plot was funny and comical. It was one of the elements of the movie that really added a light tone to the entire story. I even found the romance of the story comical! The two characters Mr. Shiner and Mr. Maybold were so comical in their own way (Dick Dewey was the only one of the three that I took seriously Spoiler since it seemed like him and Fancy really loved each other, so I could tell they would end up together End of Spoiler).
Fancy Day in the front. In the background from left to right:
Mr. Shiner, Mr. Maybold, and Dick Dewey.

A lot of shots were taken to a tree (hence why the title is Under the Greenwood Tree). I'm not quite sure what the significance is (if anybody would like to help me out on this, I would be grateful). But the colors are very nice and the scenery is very pleasant to look at.

The movie take place in the 1840s, which would be before the crinoline (hoopskirt) was used. I really liked some of Fancy's dresses. The red ball gown that she had for the first party that she attended in the village was so cute!

Fancy Day
The music can vary between the music played in the background, the music that is being played or sung by the characters, or the dance music. All of which are lovely! The music that is sung is mostly by the choir and includes Christmas carols and church music. The choir had a lovely sound to it! The music that was played by the instruments was also very nice, and the dance songs were good too!

Overall: 4/5
I really enjoyed this movie. It was light-hearted and entertaining, perfect for an evening at home. This isn't a story that would bring you down from a happy mood, but rather would make you feel better after a bad day. I was amused throughout the entire movie and I wouldn't be sorry to watch it again!

Under the Greenwood Tree is available on DVD and is about an hour and a half long.


  1. Oh, I love this movie. The costumes, the actors, the social commentary - and it's nice to see a romance once in a while where it's the woman who loves the man in spite of his class. Definitely comfort food!

  2. Oh good, a shorter movie. :) Maybe it will be easier to find time to see it! And yes, you are right, today is the day I leave. In approximately one hour and 34 minutes. :)

  3. Miss Elizabeth, I'm so glad you got to watch this film and enjoyed it! This is one of my favorite period dramas (and my current blog theme, hehe) as it is like you said so light and happy unlike other stories from author Thomas Hardy.

    ~Miss Laurie :)


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