It can be tough to star in a quiet, romantic period film just when the testosterone-filled summer blockbuster season is heating up. But leave it to Carey Mulligan to add excitement to a Thomas Hardy adaptation about a farm girl who takes over her father's land and eventually goes from rags to riches. Her love interest, played by Matthias Schoenaerts (and his charmingly Owen Wilson-esque nose), succumbs to the opposite reversal of fortune. Judging by this clip from Far From The Madding Crowd, which opens May 1, Mulligan holds her own as the modest maiden-turned-powerful land owner. Her foe is a large, intimidating man she needs to fire. It's often presumed that women during that time were prim, spoke softly, and generally behaved "like a lady" — in other words, submissive and easily dominated. But, Mulligan proves you don't need to scream to make your point, and eloquence easily triumphs physical prowess. Watch her handle 19th-century business like a boss.