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Madame Bovary

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Germany, Belgium, United States · 2015
Rated R · 1h 58m
Director Sophie Barthes
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans, Ezra Miller, Logan Marshall-Green
Genre Drama

In this adaptation of Gustave Flaubert's classic 19th-century novel, Emma Bovary lives unhappily in rural France, unsatisfied with her dull marriage to a doctor named Charles. To escape her miserable life, Emma begins affairs with more exciting men while also using credit to live beyond her financial means.

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What are critics saying?


Village Voice by Alan Scherstuhl

Lead Mia Wasikowska looks convincingly miserable in the role of a young wife who's driven to seek her pleasures outside the marital bed, but whatever complexities roil in the character's heart and head are nowhere to be found on her face.


The Guardian by Catherine Shoard

The presence of Sophie Barthes behind the camera does not amplify sympathy for our heroine. Rather, the opposite: if anything Barthes seems less in her allure, less tolerant of her tiffs, full-throttle with the vanity and the selfishness.


New York Post by Farran Smith Nehme

The seething passions of Flaubert’s characters are absent, except when Rhys Ifans (as a greedy merchant) or the splendidly ruthless Marshall-Green are in the room.


Variety by Justin Chang

Measured and absorbing rather than deeply compelling or vital, this latest adaptation of a rarely well-filmed novel makes a strong effort to capture the stiflingly provincial world that Flaubert was able to describe in such precise, painstaking detail on the page.


The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

Wasikowska gives a solid, emotionally precise performance, ably supported by the men around her (especially Ifans, who relishes Monsieur Lheureux’s unctuous cajolery), and the result is intelligent and eminently watchable.


The Playlist by Rodrigo Perez

An uninspired narrative and disengaged performances ultimately keep persuasive deep feeling and captivation at a far distance.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

Handsomely mounted, period perfect and starring the empathetic Mia Wasikowska in the title role, the new Madame Bovary narrows the scope and finds a different focus within Gustave Flaubert’s novel.

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