Direct from the Alliance Française French Film Festival, Anne Fontaine’s (Coco before Chanel, Adore) Gemma Bovery was a film to delight all of the senses.
Christophe Beaucarne’s (The Blue Room) cinematography evoked the visual senses as he captured the picturesque Normandy countryside in France, from the cows roaming under the apple trees in the springtime to leisurely strolls from house to house along the gravel paths.
Beaucarne highlighted interiors with stories to tell from within a 13th, 14th and 17th century chateau that contrasted with a humble yet equally delightful farmhouse in the small town.
Based on the novel by Posy Simmonds, the story unfolds through the narration of Martin Joubert (Fabrice Luchini) who leaves the city life behind to run his fathers patisserie.
Martin becomes curious about his new English neighbours, Gemma and Charlie Bovery (Gemma Arterton, Jason Flemyng), a couple who have moved into the adjacent farmhouse.
However Gemma is distracted by her real life dilemmas and romances when she meets the young law student Herve de Bressigny (Nids Schneider).
The story uses humour and intrigue as Gemma is torn between her current romance, a past lover and her faithful and loyal husband. Meanwhile, Martin aims to help her solve some of life’s most pressing problems.
Martin, the nosy neighbour, becomes infatuated by the sensuous Gemma while more than just a few coincidences occur between Gemma and Martin’s favourite novel the classic Madame Bovary.
As Martin recognises the seemingly parallel events, he intervenes to try and stop what he sees as Gemma’s destiny determined by Flaubert’s classic 1856 novel, Madame Bovary.
Anne Fontaine’s Gemma Bovery was a warm and accessible French drama best viewed with chocolat chaud and warm amandine croissants.
Words by Elizabeth Lamont
Gemma Brovery. Images provided by publicity.
Details: Gemma Bovery | French Drama Film | Palace Cinemas Brisbane