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Gemma Bovery - Film Review

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by Shannon Norfolk (subscribe)
Set and Costume Designer, Theatre Creator, creative crafty type.....
Published May 10th 2015
Entertaining romp through the beautiful French countryside

Gemma Bovery is a delightful film that was presented during the French Film Festival and now has its own cinema release (French and English with English subtitles).

Set a in a quaint village in Normandy where Gustave Flaubert wrote his debut novel Madame Bovary, the story is seen through the eyes of Flaubert expert Martin Joubert (Fabrice Luchini) who is also the local baker. The English couple, Gemma Bovery (Gemma Arterton) and husband Charles (Jason Flemyng), have moved into the charming but ramshackled old farmhouse next door to Martin, to indulge their fantasy of French provincial living.

Life soon begins to imitate art as (in the eyes of Martin) Gemma's life begins to resemble that of the doomed Madame Bovary.

Gemma Arterton is sublime as the sensuous but light Gemma Bovery. She plays her with an interesting mix of naive girl and 'definitely knows what she is doing' woman. Fabrice Luchini brings out Martin's comical moments in the most endearing ways. The supporting cast works well, to balance off the main characters, and add explanation to why and how this fantasy can take place. Niels Schneider is a dream as the seductive playboy. Martin's long suffering wife and son (Isabelle Candelier and Kacey Mottet-Klein) are played with wit and loving care. Special mention, the dogs Gus and Carrington, who add another amusing and charming element

Anne Fontaines direction is superb, balancing the hilarious comical scenes with sweet tender moments. Gemma's affair is passionate yet naive. Martin's obsession with her is intense and unhinged yet still remains harmless and sweet. This film is full of life and emotion to be enjoyed.

Christophe Beaucarne cinematography adds another beautiful layer. I walked away from this film with a desperate wanderlust to explore the French countryside, on a bicycle with my dog.

I adored this film. It is a wonderful mix of humour and sweetness and it held my attention from the start. To really enjoy this movie, I suggest seeing it at a cinema such as Palace Nova EastEnd, where you can take your wine, cheese and breads into the movie with you.
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*Shannon Norfolk was invited as a guest
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Why? A romp through the French countryside is always good for the soul.
When: Opens May 28 2015
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