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Martin, an ex-Parisian well-heeled hipster passionate about Gustave Flaubert who settled into a Norman village as a baker, sees an English couple moving into a small farm nearby. Not only are the names of the new arrivals Gemma and Charles Bovery, but their behavior also seems to be inspired by Flaubert's heroes.Written by
Toronto International Film Festival
While Valerie and Martin lie in bed arguing about the banality of Madame Bovary, Valerie is reading a biography of François Mauriac. Mauriac's most famous novel Thérèse Desqueyroux also deals with a bored, unhappy woman in the back province, but this one attempts to poison her husband with arsenic. See more »
Martin believes that his next neighbor is Russian, but she's really from Rouen. When he meets Madame Mercier he's so surprised by her fluent French that he asks where she learned it. "At school like everyone else" she misleadingly replies, when in fact she would've learned her native tongue as a small child from her parents. See more »
Review: I must admit, if I knew that this movie was full of subtitles, I wouldn't have bothered with it but once it gets going, I really didn't know what direction the storyline was going to take. At first, it's a simple concept, about a loving couple, Gemma Bovery (Gemma Arterton) and Charlie Bovery (Jason Flemyng), who move to France and become friends with the local bread maker and his wife, Martin Joubert (Fabrice Luchini) and Valerie (Isabelle Candelier), who live in the same community as the loving couple. Martin takes a bit of a shine to the flirtatious Gemma, which he keeps to himself but when she starts an affair a young boy who is studying for his exams, Herve De Bressigny (Niels Schneider), her relationship with Charlie takes a turn for the worse. Martin is a lover of the writer Gustave Flaubert, and he can see Gemma's life is taking the same direction as Gustave's book, "Gemma Bovery", which just happens to be the same name as there new neighbours, so he tries to divert her from her downfall. After planning to leave her husband with her new boyfriend, Gemma's life takes a turn for the worse when Herve is false to leave the village, by his mother. The strain also becomes to much for Charlie, who decides to leave his wife for a while, and when an old flame turns up at Gemma's doorstep, Patrick (Mel Raido), a dramatic chain of events lead to a dramatic ending, which is worth watching. I really wasn't expecting the storyline to turn out the way it did but the rest of the movie was a bit slow. I liked the fact that the quiet Martin, who was completely in the background throughout the movie, knew exactly what was going to happen but apart from that, it really didn't pick up until the end. Gemma Arterton seems to act the same in all of her movies, but she was suited for this role. It did surprise me how easily she started an affair with the local boy, without feeling guilty towards her husband but that was the mysterious thing about there life's taking the same direction as the books. Anyway, it's not the type of movie that I would usually watch, so I didn't have high expectations but I did enjoy the ending after reading subtitles for an hour and a half. Average!
Round-Up: For a girl who came into the movie world in 2007 in St. Trinians, Gemma Arterton, 30, has starred in some big movies, like RocknRolla, Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans, Runner Runner and Hansel & Gretel, so her 8 year career has been pretty impressive to date. Her French accent in this movie was believable along with her flirtatious ways, which ended up getting her in trouble but she has to be careful that she doesn't become a victim of typecasting. Anyway, this movie was written and directed by Anne Fontaine, 56, who has primarily directed movies for a French market, so I haven't really heard of them. I liked the twist in this movie but it came a bit too late for my liking.
Budget: 9.7million Worldwide Gross: £4.7million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their drama/romance/comedies starring Gemma Arterton, Jason Flemyng, Fabrice Luchini, Isabelle Candelier and Mel Raido. 4/10
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