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Jude

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom

1996

Rated R • 2h 3m

Director Michael Winterbottom

Starring Kate Winslet, Christopher Eccleston, Liam Cunningham, Rachel Griffiths

Genre Drama, Romance

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In late 19th-century England, Jude aspires to be an academic, but is hobbled by his blue-collar background. Instead, he works as a stonemason and is trapped in an unloving marriage to a farmer's daughter named Arabella. But when his wife leaves him, Jude sees an opportunity to improve himself. He moves to the city and begins an affair with his married cousin, Sue, courting tragedy every step of the way.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

Empire by

A brave, powerful, far from comfortable and distinctly English affair that bears all the hallmarks of a labour of love rather than an example of intellectual folly.
25

Christian Science Monitor by David Sterritt

The basic plot of Thomas Hardy's great novel "Jude the Obscure" comes through accurately enough, but its sublime irony and sardonic wit apparently got lost in the misty English countryside.
90

Los Angeles Times by Kevin Thomas

Michael Winterbottom's handsome, uncompromising film. Jude glows with Eccleston's and Winslet's performances and with those in supporting roles.
60

The New York Times by Lawrence Van Gelder

With Christopher Eccleston as Jude and Kate Winslet of ''Sense and Sensibility'' as his great love, Sue Bridehead, and with convincing evocations of 19th-century England from locations in Edinburgh and the north of England, Jude remains a handsome if gravely flawed film.
75

Entertainment Weekly by Lisa Schwarzbaum

It's worth seeing this stark adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure just for the extraordinary performance of Christopher Eccleston as Jude Fawley, the stonemason in turn-of-the-century England whose dreams of university scholarship are thwarted. And British telly director Michael Winterbottom sustains a fine atmosphere of dank misery.
67

Austin Chronicle by Steve Davis

Director Winterbottom and screenwriter Hossein Amini could have given the story a bit more resonance, particularly in character development, if they had allowed some of the scenes to go a little longer.