London Film Festival Review: Madame Bovary
12th October 2014
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★★★☆☆ Gustav Flaubert’s wonderfully vivid, brutal, passionate novel Madame Bovary has been given an interesting cinematic interpretation by Cold Souls director Sophie Barthes. It’s not quite as brutal or as passionate as Flaubert’s original story but it is beautifully shot and retains some of the novel’s haunting despair. It just never goes far enough. Flaubert was taken to court, charged with obscenity, for writing the book in 1957, though was acquitted. Since then it has become a classic of French literature and has been adapted a number of times by filmmakers as diverse as Jean Renoir, Vincente Minnelli, Claude Chabrol and Tim Fywell. This version is more restrained and less hysterical than some, with Mia Wasikowska in the title role.
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