Bored in her marriage to a country doctor and stifled by life in a small town, the restless Emma Bovary pursues her dreams of passion and excitement, whatever they may cost.Bored in her marriage to a country doctor and stifled by life in a small town, the restless Emma Bovary pursues her dreams of passion and excitement, whatever they may cost.Bored in her marriage to a country doctor and stifled by life in a small town, the restless Emma Bovary pursues her dreams of passion and excitement, whatever they may cost.
Mrs Barthes took more liberties with the novel than any of her colleagues,sometimes not for the best: it's really a bad idea to replace the Marquis' ball by a hunting with hounds : a ball is par excellence the place where a woman can shine,dazzle all the men around and outstrip all her rivals:Flaubert's depiction of the soiree ,which is the turning point of the novel ,reveals Emma's monotonous living,her longing for a socialite life ,for a romantic love story her meek oafish hubby cannot give to her;the Marquis ,becoming Emma's lover , led the screenwriters to do without Rodolphe Boulanger ,which may disappoint the readers.Gone is Emma 's daughter -she wanted a boy and she found her ugly- who landed as a working girl in a spinning mill ,ironical fate for a daughter whose mom wanted to climb the social scale.On the other hand,Lheureux,Emma's evil genius, is given a (too) prominent role ,and Monsieur Homais ,the atheist chemist hardly appears ,he 's only in it to urge Charles to operate on Hippolyte,the person with club- foot ;the scene in the church with the vicar is much weaker than its equivalent in Renoir's movie;the agricultural meeting fete is botched ,and passes over in silence the way Flaubert showed "the poverty of the century " ,in the shape of a very old lady who is awarded a medal after a life of hard labor.(Renoir did not forget that either)
The movie is not completely wretched though.Mia Wasikowska is a very credible Emma ,and even if her suicide may surprise Flaubert's readers,the final scene with these torches in the night is cinematographically dazzling(but the prologue which makes the movie a flashback is pointless);Charles Bovary(Henry Loyd-Hughes) is exactly how Flaubert depicted him,an unambitious good man with a small mind, whose main pleasure in life is to sit down at table and enjoy his meal;the wedding night -not shown in precedent versions- is revealing .To get a semblance of a luxury life,she's seized by a compulsive desire to buy mountain of things ,most of which are thoroughly useless.She lives in a world of illusion,even Leon (Ezra Miller)holds a second-rate position he may easily loose if he continues with his romance with a married woman.
This new version will probably not go down in cinema history.But ,even though the screenplay is eminently debatable,the cinematography is splendid indeed.
- Mar 24, 2017