Based on the classic novel by Gustave Flaubert this is the tale of the beautiful wife of a small-town doctor, who engages in extramarital affairs in an attempt to advance her social status.
Okay so here’s the thing. I think that I was a little ruined for this film because I watched the modern day cinematic semi-adaptation Gemma Bovery before I saw this version. In general I enjoyed the other due to the injection of comedic elements. It helped to make some of the characters likeable. Or even somewhat bearable. However the Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is a rather hopeless affair in many ways. It is hard to find any reason to empathise with the lead characters, they just keep acting poorly and digging themselves deep holes thanks to bad decisions.
On a different angle, this is a film that has been visually pulled together well and is rather beautiful to watch. The locations were well chosen and brilliant dressed, while the costuming was amazing. Perhaps if the storyline had been more compelling, I might not have noticed the settings and clothes as much as I did. I think by now you have got the feeling that this was not a film for me. I do enjoy a good period drama, however I generally like a film where you either feel sorry for or empathize with the characters. This is what makes a film compelling to me. So in that area I felt let down. I cannot be sure if it related to the seeing Gemma Bovery first, or whether it just is what it is. Even Rhys Ifans couldn’t redeem the plot.
I thought perhaps I should have a look at Rotten Tomatoes to see if I was alone on this one. Here is a film that scored a low 40% from reviewers and an even lower 30% from general audiences.
I am sure that there are people who love a good slow and depressing period film, however I am not one of them. I will say that this film was beautifully filmed and the actors were very good and brought their A game however I am not convinced that the story warranted them coming out.
DVD Releases: 25th November 2015
Rating: M – Contains sex scenes
Duration: 118 minutes
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Ezra Miller, Laura Carmichael, Logan Marshall-Green, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Paul Giamatti, Rhys Ifans, Morfydd Clark, Richard Cordery
Director: Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls)
This is actress Mia Wasikowska's 5th period drama set in the 19th century.