The gorgeous and talented Gemma Arterton is one of those rare actresses with the ability to both stun in arthouse films and walk away unscathed from studio trainwrecks. That’s why the actress, who last year appeared in two terrible films (Runner Runner, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) and a fascinating one (Byzantium), is one of the few performers whose films I actively seek out. Her next, a French graphic novel adaptation titled Gemma Bovery, should prove no different.
It’s clear after watching the new French-language teaser for the film (even if you can’t understand what star Fabrice Luchini is saying) that the marketing team behind this one is hoping Arterton’s ample sex appeal is more than enough to sell Gemma Bovery to audiences worldwide. Director Anne Fontaine (Adore, Coco Before Chanel) also seems content to openly ogle her star.
Based on Posy Simmons’ graphic novel, which in turn takes its inspiration from Gustave Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary,” this film updates the classic tale to focus on the titular character living life as an English expatriate in Normandy. There, she catches the eye of a neighbor (Luchini), who follows her down the path to ruin.
The film also stars Jason Flemyng and Mel Raido. It opens in France this fall and how it does then will likely determine whether it receives a big release stateside.
If you want more details about Gemma Bovery, check out the Amazon synopsis below, and then take a look at new stills and posters for the film.
It a coincidence that Gemma Bovery has a name rather like Flaubert’s notorious heroine? Is it by chance that, like Madame Bovary, Gemma is bored, adulterous, and a bad credit risk? Is she inevitably doomed?
Gemma is the pretty second wife of Charlie Bovery, the reluctant stepmother of his children, and the bête noire of his ex-wife. A sudden windfall and Gemma’s distaste for London take them across the Channel to Normandy, where the charms of French country living soon wear off.
Gemma’s neighbor, the intellectual baker Joubert, is consumed by fascination for her. Denying voyeurism but nonetheless noting every change in the fit of Gemma’s jeans, every addition to her wardrobe, all of her love bites and lovers, Joubert——with the help of the heroine’s diaries——follows her path toward ruin.