Just finished watching this film on VHS after a long search of London libraries. Disappointed, but first the good stuff... Huppert does the soul-wrent-in-twain-through-moral-confusion well. The others in the cast are unknown to me but do a better job than on the made for TV version (BBC 2002) simply because they are French (don't live day to day with ironing boards for spines). The costuming is beautiful - this is important to twist the knife as Emma's debt becomes incommutable. The bad stuff - the direction. Or lack of it. La Ceremonie is the only Chabrol film I can remember worth seeing; this film is not as bad as the recent zzz-worth Merci pour le Chocolat... there's French filmmaking and there's unabashed pretension and that film is the latter. The continuity in Bovary is sloppy as is the sound editing (although Chabrol's brother's score's OK). The final straw is Huppert's inability to find some of the naivete that is so engaging in, say, Heaven's Gate. The latter part of the film is good - it's as if her scheming to avoid the fate she is preparing for herself increases the fall she succumbs to. But at the beginning, she's the same character... there's no preparation for a transformation. And WHY - WHY OH WHY does this production insist on white sub-titles? It's such a cheap error! 5/10... buy lots of popcorm.
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