Jude Fawley (Eccleston), a north country farm boy, has been inspired by his schoolmaster to try to get into Christminster (the university name Thomas Hardy substituted for Oxford). A quickie marriage to Arabella (Griffiths), a pig-farmer's daughter who thought she was pregnant after a roll in the barn, ended when she ran off to Australia. So Jude goes to Christminster and studies Latin, Greek, and other subjects on his own while employed as a stonemason. He meets his pretty cousin Sue Bridehead (Winslet) and falls in love with her, but since they believe marriage is out of the question, she weds his cold schoolmaster Phillotson (Cunningham). Jude is rejected by the university, but he and Sue cannot keep away from each other and Phillotson lets his wife go to the other man. The couple live in sin, take in his son by Arabella when she shows up again (she was pregnant, after all), and have two children of their own. But society's disapproval tosses the struggling family out of jobs and homes, and their life goes from hard to worse. The 1895 book _Jude the Obscure_ was Hardy's last novel -- so stringent and depressing that the public outrage against it caused him never to attempt another. This gorgeously filmed, ardently acted 1996 film does the book justice, but is hard emotional going for the viewer.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus
Loosely based on the novel "Jude the Obscure" by Thomas Hardy, this movie follows the life, loves, and ultimate tragedies of the main character, Jude Fawley, a humble stonemason.
Jude, a farmer's son with relatively little life experience, is tricked into marrying a local girl by the claim that she is pregnant. After many months, it becomes apparent there is no child on the way. She leaves him, and Jude makes his way to the city where he meets his sophisticated cousin, Sue Bridehead.
Sue and Jude eventually fall in love, but Sue has apprehensions about marriage. They produce several children together. Because of the time period in which this story is set, this unmarried couple with children is shunned from society. They have trouble finding jobs, housing, and are generally outcast. The movie ends with a stunning tragedy involving this little family.
The review of this Movie prepared by Julie Angelos