Our most cinephilic francophiles head to the 2015 Melbourne French Film Festival. These are their reviews.
We kick off our Melbourne French Film Festival Review Series with a review of Anne Fontaine’s 2014 film Gemma Bovery, from the University of Melbourne’s Lecturer in French, Dr Bertrand Bourgeois. Bertrand will also be presenting a Q&A on the film on March 19: more details here.
Gemma Bovery? The name rings a bell? Wait a minute… It’s the story of a young beautiful English woman (played by Gemma Arterton) newly married to a boring Charlie Bovery. The happy couple just decided to buy an old French country house and to come live in Normandy. Despite a love for French breads and croissants, Gemma is soon disappointed with her uncomfortable house prone to the stormy and cold winter weather. In this little provincial village, she gets quickly bored walking her dog and going to the market… Can’t one guess what will happen next? Joubert, the baker of the town, is convinced that Gemma’s life will follow the plot of his favourite feminine character in a novel, Emma Bovary. Gemma Bovery is in fact a movie adaptation of Posy Simmonds’ graphic novel of the same name (1999), itself of course freely inspired by Flaubert’s masterpiece Madame Bovary (1857). Anne Fontaine’s cinematic transposition interplays wittingly with Flaubert’s novel and multiplies funny and subtle winks to an accomplice viewer invited to re-read one of the most timeless French classics. Catch a screening of Gemma Bovery here. By Bertrand Bourgeois.