Madame Bovary and Gemma Bovery

Written by | Entertainment

This summer brings two takes on Gustave Flaubert’s iconic literary exploration of desire and fulfillment.

One option is Madame Bovary, which is faithful in both title and story to the source material. This is a quiet adaptation that gives its excellent star Mia Wasikowska (pictured above) a chance to serve some desperate, Claire Danes realness. With a supporting cast that includes Paul Giamatti and young, out actor Ezra Miller, the film emphasizes Bovary’s tragic spiral into debt and adultery as she seeks to escape her comfortable-yet-unfulfilling and all-too-mapped-out existence.

Meanwhile, Gemma Bovery is a playful, modern spin on the tale, with most of the drama replaced by whimsy, and most of the English replaced by French. In this one, a romance-loving, middle-aged baker becomes fixated on his English neighbor Gemma Bovery — only to find that she has much in common with her namesake.

THE WORD: Madame is full of hidden patterns as beautiful as its star’s parade of dresses while Gemma offers an outsider’s perspective along with a generous helping of comic ennui. COMING TO: Theaters

By Jonathan Roche

Last modified: March 9, 2018