The Return of the Native

Watch The Return of the Native

  • PG
  • 1994
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 6.0  (749)

The Return of the Native is a British period drama film, released in 1994, based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Hardy. The movie takes place in late 19th century England and follows the lives of several characters who live in the county of Wessex. The story revolves around a beautiful, headstrong young woman named Eustacia Vye (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones), who lives with her grandfather in the town of Egdon Heath. Eustacia longs for a life of passion and adventure, far away from the dreariness of her rural existence. Her dreams are fueled by her desire to escape a loveless marriage to Clym Yeobright (played by Clive Owen), an idealistic young man who has returned to his hometown after working in Paris as a diamond merchant. Clym, who is determined to lead a simple life as a schoolmaster, is smitten with Eustacia from the moment they meet, and the two embark on a passionate affair.

Meanwhile, Damon Wildeve (played by Ray Stevenson), a former lover of Eustacia's, also returns to the area, and she finds herself torn between her love for Clym and her attraction to the handsome, dashing Damon. The story takes several twists and turns as each character struggles to find their place in the world and follow their hearts, leading to a tragic and gripping finale.

The cinematography of The Return of the Native is breathtaking, showcasing the beauty and wildness of the English countryside. The film is bathed in moody, atmospheric lighting, creating a sense of foreboding and unease that perfectly captures the dark, Gothic elements of Hardy's novel. Director Jack Gold infuses the movie with a strong sense of realism and authenticity, giving it the feel of a period piece that has been painstakingly recreated.

The acting in The Return of the Native is uniformly impressive, with each member of the talented cast delivering a nuanced and emotionally resonant performance. Catherine Zeta-Jones is particularly captivating as Eustacia, imbuing her with a fiery and mercurial energy that makes her a force to be reckoned with. Clive Owen is also excellent as Clym, bringing depth and vulnerability to the character's idealism and passion. Ray Stevenson is magnetic as Damon, channeling both charm and arrogance in equal measure.

Overall, The Return of the Native is a captivating and intense adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic novel, featuring excellent performances, stunning cinematography, and a strong sense of atmosphere and period detail. It successfully captures the haunting beauty and tragic sensibility of the original text, making it a must-see for fans of British period dramas and classic literature.

The Return of the Native is a 1994 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0.

The Return of the Native
Where to Watch The Return of the Native
The Return of the Native is available to watch free on Plex. It's also available to stream, download on demand at Amazon Prime and The Roku Channel. Some platforms allow you to rent The Return of the Native for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (749)