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Jude ★★★ Jude the Obscure 1996 (R)

Engrossing retelling of Thomas Hardy's depressing 1896 novel “Jude the Obscure,” set in his fictional Wessex. Country stonemason Jude (Eccleston) hopes to improve his impoverished lot in life by becoming a student at Christminister University. But first he's distracted into an unwise marriage with lively Arabella (Griffiths), who soon leaves him, and then into an ill-fated romance with his capricious cousin Sue Brideshead (Winslet). Class and societal barriers prove impossible for the couple to overcome and lead to a shocking tragedy. Hardy's book was so badly received by critics that he never wrote another novel and stuck to poetry for the rest of his life. 123m/C VHS, DVD . GB Christopher Eccleston, Kate Winslet, Liam Cunningham, Rachel Griffiths; D: Michael Winterbottom; W: Hossein Amini; C: Eduardo Serra; M: Adrian Johnston.