The title refers to Flaubert. But Kafkaesque is probably a better way to describe this comedy-drama about one ordinary woman’s battle against the bureaucratic madness of the Chinese government to clear her reputation. Fan Bingbing (‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’) is Li Xuelian, who sets out to prove that she’s the victim of a fake divorce.
Her scoundrel of an ex has also been badmouthing her, but since the divorce papers seem authentic the court won’t take her side. So begins a decade-long campaign, carried along by Li’s grit and determination. All in all, ‘Madame Bovary’ is quite something, gradually building to a jawdropping final scene. Anyone with an interest in Chinese arthouse cinema really needs to see this.