Movie review: Madame Bovary doesn’t measure up
The latest film adaptation of Flaubert's classic novel presents a petulant heroine who seems to be seeking distraction rather than romance, writes Jay Stone
By Jay Stone
Poor old Emma Bovary: lost in dreams of love, dead of grief, adapted into a lot of movies that — like the men who abandoned her — never quite measured up. The latest screen version (and the first directed by a woman) presents Gustave Flaubert’s tragic story as a drama about a woman who is not so much seduced by notions of romanticism as given to adultery and materialism because there’s not much else to do. You suspect that had the Internet been invented in 19th Century France, this Emma would have been content with video games and Amazon.
She’s played by Mia Wasikowska, who can project strength (in Tracks) or exotic abandon (Only Lovers Left Alive) or even lush yearning (Jane Eyre). Here though, under the direction of Sophia Barthes, she’s not much more than a petulant ...