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Gemma Bovery

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Gemma Bovery

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Ever fantasised about ditching it all for a life in France? This featherlight, Flaubert-inspired comedy will put you off

The French are good at sex. They’re always at it, making cheeky comedies with characters hopping in and out of each other’s beds as often as they pop to the boulangerie for croissants. What’s different about ‘Gemma Bovery’ is that it ropes us stiff Brits in. An adaptation of Posy Simmonds’s graphic novel, itself loosely based on Flaubert’s novel ‘Madame Bovary’, it stars Gemma Arterton as Gemma Bovery. An artist from London, she ups sticks to rural Normandy with her husband Charlie (Jason Flemyng).

They’re chasing the vin-and-pain fantasy of life in a French village. But like her namesake – the original bored housewife – Gemma can’t resist intrigue and excitement. Marriage, like a baguette, is stale in a week. Bored of Charlie and sick of their leaky old house, Gemma tumbles into bed with local posh tottie law student Hervé (Niels Schneider). Watching from the sidelines is the local baker (Fabrice Luchini). He’s besotted with Gemma, consumed with lust and resentment.

All of which is breezy superficial good fun, and Gemma Arterton I could watch for hours. Still, the tone is uneven, creaking between uproarious comedy bonking and serious(ish) drama. Flaubert is probably sacré-bleu-ing from the grave

Written by Cath Clarke

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 21 August 2015
  • Duration:99 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Anne Fontaine
  • Screenwriter:Anne Fontaine, Pascal Bonitzer
  • Cast:
    • Fabrice Luchini
    • Gemma Arterton
    • Jason Flemyng
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