by admin on August 8,2015

Why Director Sophie Barthes Felt Compelled to Bring ‘Madame Bovary’ to the Big Screen For a Modern Audience

Barthes breathes new life into Gustave Flaubert’s classic tale of desire.¬†Gustave Flaubert’s classic novel Madame Bovary is no stranger to the big screen, as the 1865 book (impressively enough, it was Flaubert’s debut novel) has been translated to film at least seven times over the decades, including a Jean Renoir-directed version from 1934 and a breathless, Isabelle Huppert-starring 1991 take from Claude Chabrol. But that didn’t stop filmmaker Sophie Barthes from wanting to make it her own.

For her version, Barthes abstained from trying to turn the story of a brutally unsatisfied woman — Madame Bovary herself — into an overly modern tale about shame and the consumption of material goods, instead relying on the strength of Flaubert’s original story. The result is a mostly faithful take on the novel, which sees Mia Wasikowska memorably taking up the role of Emma Bovary, a once-pious young woman in provincial France who grows weary of her life as the wife of doctor, ultimately seeking out more (and more) in the form of various lovers and a growing appetite for material goods (particularly sumptuous gowns, lovingly brought to the screen by costume designers Christian Gasc and Valerie Ranchoux). click to read more »

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