France is in its glory here with plenty of beautiful cinematography by Christophe Beaucarne. The scinery/landscape will take your breath away at times. Normandy, if it was in doubt, is definitely an area which is on my travel list.
Unfortunately, looking great and featuring great scenery does not a film make. While director Anne Fontaine’s film is not a bad one, it certainly was not as good as it could have been. Though it is the perfect film to settle into on a rainy or snowy weekend afternoon.
I loved the back and forth between English and French dialogue. Really appealed to the Montrealer in me. Seemed rather natural. Besides the intertwining of the English and French cultures and sensibilities the film really celebrates what life is like in the French provincial areas. Small towns, plenty of farming and animals, everyone knowing their neighbours, and communal dinners with (obviously) great food and wine. An enviable pace and style of life.
This is the type of film which would only be made in France. Or, more precisely, France is the country which makes this type of film the best. There is just something about French sensibilities which suits this style of film well. They inject them with the right amount of humour and nuance.
Though the screenplay was written by Anne Fontaine, the film is based on the popular graphic novel of the same name by Posy Simmonds.
British couple Gemma (played by Gemma Arterton) and Charlie Bovery (played by Jason Flemyng) have decided to relocate from London to France. Gemma owns property in Normandy and the two artistic types settle in to their new life. Their property is next door to baker Martin (played by Fabrice Luchini) and his wife (played by Isabelle Candelier) and son (played by Kacey Mottet Klein).
Unbeknownst to the Boverys is that Martin is Flaubert fan, especially of the novel, Madame Bovary. When things which happened in that famous novel start occuring with the Boverys, the baker is even more enraptured. His eye is also caught by the attractive Gemma, so much of his focus and thoughts are directed towards his next door neighbours.
The Boverys’ marriage seems to be on the rocks. Gemma begins an affair with a young Herve (played by Niels Schneider) and then her ex Patrick (played by Mel Raido) also shows up in town. Romance is abound. As time goes on Martin becomes more and more obsessed with Gemma.
-In the Footsteps of Emma: The Making of Gemma Bovery
-Master Class with Director Anne Fontaine
-From Page to Screen Graphic Novel Gallery