Out Now On-Demand
The fantastic Mia Wasikowska is Emma Bovary, whose refusal to accept societal conventions leads to rebellion and disgrace, in this adaptation of Gustave Flaubert's classic novel set in 19th-century rural France. Co-stars Paul Giamatti and Rhys Ifans.
"Flaubert’s finest gets a fresh dust-off as Wasikowska takes on the mantle of the woman who wanted too much. Marriage is at first a dream for young Emma, keen to embrace this new stage in her life and be the perfect partner to her country doctor husband. But she is too spirited a woman to be contained and it’s not long before a combination of loneliness, boredom and naïveté impel her beyond the boundaries of society." (London Film Festival)
- Sophie Barthes('Cold Souls')
Rating: M Sex scenes
Germany, Belgium, USA
Madame Bovary, Flaubert’s French literary classic, has been adapted many times. Befitting a tale hailed as the first “modern realist” novel, French director Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls) approaches proceedings in a naturalistic manner (akin to Mike Leigh’s recent Turner biopic), lending what could have been a stuffy costume drama an immediacy and edge, set off by a prevailing sense of doom.
As Emma Bovary, Mia Wasikowska brings an understated depth to her role as the repressed heroine. Fearing her future to be “a dark corridor with a bolted door at the end”, Emma seeks to break free of social conventions. First she turns to a greedy merchant (played, with oily aplomb, by Rhys Ifans), running up huge debts in a bid to possess the latest Paris fashions. When fancy dresses and décor fail, she turns to extramarital affairs as outlets for a passion unquenched by marriage to a kind, but dull, country doctor.
Some will find this an intelligent, sumptuous, take on a classic. Others, a plodding bore, with Paul Giamatti’s talents confined to too slight a role, and Wasikowska’s American accent at odds with the French setting and, largely British-accented cast. Yet there’s plenty to admire. The restrained acting, ominous score and Andrij Parekh’s darkly sumptuous cinematography all combine to evoke a palpable sense of foreboding.
Adhering to the melancholic precision of the source material, this Madame Bovary is the tragedy of a woman weighed down by a desire to be free, in a society in which being rich and male offers the only path to self-fulfillment.
New York Times
Los Angeles Times
Herald Sun (Australia)
Rich in Dark Beauty
This movie is a visual feast for the senses. It is pure escapism at it's finest. Really enjoyed this movie, seen at a cosy little boutique cinema. Interesting portrayal of what life was like at that time for wives and women. It does plod along quietly in places but that in my view is part of it's charm, transporting you to another time and place. Very thought provoking. Mia Wasikowska stirring vulnerability and Rhys Ifans callous greed heightened the drama and suspense. Having not read the book was not sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. It is dark, dramatic and beautifully crafted!
Madame Bovary!!! Just the name sends chills through me. Why oh why must I wait for a suitable realise date? and just the name "Mia" is wonderful. Movies never cease to amaze me