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In 19th century Britain, a unconventional young man struggles against the limitations of a rigid, restrictive society. Based on Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, this somber period drama stars a suitably intense Christopher Eccleston as Jude, a young man with dreams of receiving a scholarly university education. Circumstances conspire against him, however, forcing him into a job as a stonemason and an unsatisfactory marriage. He remains true to his dream, however, and years later, after his wife's sudden departure, heads for ...

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Dec 19, 2009

hard to find

Make sure you're buying the widescreen American edition of this great performance by a very young, very handsome, sexy Christopher Eccleston. The British version is full screen, and you miss the sweep and scope of the beautiful, if a bit bleak, photography. But bleakness is what the novel by Hardy is about, along with the impossibility of breaking class barriers in England. Combine this obstacle with the machinations of the woman who seduces the innocent young man, and Jude doesn't stand a chance. Except for a few moments of happiness and optimism which keep him going on, his life careers towards the inevitable ending.

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