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Tamara Drewe

January 13th                     Stephen Frears                     UK 2010                          Certificate 15

Adapted by playwright and scriptwriter Moira Buffini from Guardian cartoonist Posy Simmonds' graphic novel, the basic plot - ever so loosely based on Hardy's Far From The Madding Crowd - revolves around the return of the title character to her backwater Dorset village Ewedown. Having had a transformative nose job and built a successful career as a journalist, her arrival ignites a frenzy of gossip and a clutch of male admirers. Gamely played by Gemma Arterton with her trademark cheekiness, she's rather cipher-like in her motivations, and actually the film's most disappointingly underwritten character. Yet Tamara herself is almost beside the point, since she serves as the catalyst for the collision of the ridiculous ensemble in her orbit. 
Think The Archers with a sprinkling of trendier folk and a lot more shagging. Very intelligently funny, with stellar performances.