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Movie review: Gemma Bovery - a French but British story...

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Movie review: Gemma Bovery  - a French but British story...

Gemma Bovery has brought Madame Bovary into the modern age with a few unexpected twists.

The movie is an adaptation of the Posy Simmons novel, Gemma Bovery.  She came up with the idea for the novel when she passed beautiful women in a café in Italy.  “She was being weighed down by all these designer bags and she was treating her lover like a dog. And as he didn’t know what to do to please her, she spent her time sighing in boredom. All of a sudden I said to myself, ‘she is a modern day Madame Bovary!’ on my return to London, I proposed to my editor to write the story of an English Madame Bovary.”

Based in Normandy, the movie has all the charm of a French movie but with an English take.  Anna Fontaine – who is known for Coco Before Chanel – was the director of choice to give the movie a French influence.

Gemma Arteton returns to film her second film based on a Posy Simmons novel (she was also the lead in Tamara Drewe), cast as Gemma Bovery she plays the lead in a charming way which is a far cry from the character Posy penned in the novel.

Yep, readers who loved the book will notice there are some significant changes from the original story which you’ll either love or hate. Posy was keen for Gemma’s character to come across less harsh and much sweeter and endearing than her character in the book. You will also notice that some scenes that stood out in the book are missing from the film. The ‘famous’ black cab sequence didn’t make the cut for one.

Arteton is joined by Jason Flemyng, who plays her doting husband Charlie. He’s what you would call ‘nice’ and probably just not exciting enough for Gemma which leads to her acting on temptation when it arises.

An interesting friendship develops between Gemma and the baker in the village Martin Joubert (Fabrice Luchini, whom like most men, becomes infatuated with the British rose. He’s a great, quirky character who adds an extra dimension to the movie – with a wife that isn’t so significant.

 Although the main character is British, the film is mainly shot in France, so the dialogue is predominately in French. Gemma Arteton moved to Paris for a few months before the filming began to be ‘immersed in the local culture’ as well as perfecting her French in Brittany. It shows. She doesn’t stumble across the script – although she is mean to be very green to the language and the culture.

Overall this is an enjoyable movie with an easy-to-follow plotline that smoothly moves along with a few twists that you may-or-may-not expect to see.  The scenery is exquisite and you kind of get wish you were booking a holiday to France sometime soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gemma Arteton returns to film her second film based on a Posy Simmons novel (she was also the lead in Tamara Drewe), cast as Gemma Bovery she plays the lead in a charming way which is a far cry from the character Posy penned in the novel.
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