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Madame Bovary (2014)

R  |   |  Drama  |  12 June 2015 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 192 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 6 user | 13 critic | 4 from Metacritic.com

The beautiful wife of a small-town doctor engages in extramarital love affairs in an attempt to advance her social status.

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(as Rose Barreneche) , (novel), 1 more credit »
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Title: Madame Bovary (2014)

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The beautiful wife of a small-town doctor engages in extramarital love affairs in an attempt to advance her social status.

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Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity
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12 June 2015 (USA)  »

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This is actress Mia Wasikowska's 5th period drama set in the 19th century. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful period adaptation of Flaubert's novel that deals with its complicated heroine
15 October 2014 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

by Helen O'Hara - Empire Magazine

Sophia Barthes' Madame Bovary is a beautiful period adaptation of Gustav Flaubert's novel that deals with its complicated heroine in a way that is both understanding and honest. The cinematography truly stands out as the star, making this film into a visual delight.

The story follows the new wife of village doctor, Emma Bovary (Mia Wasikowska), who finds herself bored of the limited entertainments of a 19th century French provincial town. Her disappointment in her situation soon drives her to live outside the appropriate rules of society. Wasikowska is allowed in this film to stretch her trademark understated performance, and she embraces both the initial quiet resignation and the later defiant fury that defines the character. Madame Bovary is not an easy character to empathise with, especially in comparison to her caring and well-meaning husband, but Barthes chooses to take away much of the original emphasis on Monsieur Bovary in the novel. Instead she gives most of the time to the heroine, allowing the audience to greater understand her perspective and motives.

Wasikowska isn't the only one making an impression, however. Rhys Ifans is clearly having fun as the villainous merchant Monsieur Lheureux, tricking characters into self-destruction with some serious smooth-talking, whilst the great Paul Giamatti makes an appearance, albeit in an unfortunately small role as Monsieur Homais.

The greatest asset to the film lies in its visual appearance. From an exhilarating hunt scene to the stunning French setting, Barthes and cinematographer Andrij Parekh manage to capture an ethereal impression of their surroundings. It fits well with Emma's disassociation from the life that she is prescribed, with the dreamlike world around her not quite part of reality either. The costumes are sumptuously designed too; a period drama requirement for success of course, but still no less enriching.

Madame Bovary breathes life into a classic story, with a delicate hand and a careful eye. Not only is it a must for lovers of period drama and stunning visuals, but many viewers will find some empathy in a character who is willing to take into her own hands a change from a mundane existence.


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