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In the Dark

Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Madame Bovary
Produced by A Company Filmproduktions gesellschaft
Screenplay by Felipe Marino and Sophie Barthes from Gustave Flaubert’s novel
Directed by Sophie Barthes
Distributed by Alchemy and Millennium Entertainment 

Gustave Flaubert was the satirist of dissatisfaction.  His principal theme was the ruinous nature of unrealizable dreams, a malady he treated with cold contempt in his 1857 novel Madame Bovary.  His plot centers on Emma, a farmer’s daughter who refuses to be satisfied with the love and possessions available to her in the sticks.  Influenced by the romance novels of her day, Emma has been doomed always to want more—much more.  As a consequence, she loses everything.  Flaubert portrays Emma with the detachment of a disinterested clinician and succeeds in turning her into an object of ridicule.  There are those, of course, who will disagree with this judgment.  The sentimental feel she’s a romantic heroine, while the political demand she be understood as an early and therefore abused feminist.  Filmmakers have sided with the latter two judgments.

There have been several movies made of Madame Bovary.  I’ve seen only two, Vincent Minelli’s 1949 adaptation, and the most recent, directed by Sophie Barthes and released in June.  Neither of these...

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