Watch Madame Bovary
- 1 hr 58 min
Madame Bovary is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Sophie Barthes and based on Gustave Flaubert's novel of the same name. Starring Mia Wasikowska as Emma Bovary, the film follows the story of a young woman living in 19th-century France who dreams of a more sophisticated and fulfilling life than that which she currently leads. Emma is married to Charles Bovary (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), a simple country doctor who adores her but is unable to satisfy her desire for wealth, status and romance. Frustrated with her mundane existence, Emma spends her days daydreaming and reading romantic novels. She begins to yearn for the opulent world of the wealthy and aspiring for something more than her modest life. One day, Emma meets a wealthy landowner, Monsieur Rodolphe Boulanger (played by a handsome Logan Marshall-Green), who soon becomes her lover. She becomes entangled in a web of deceit, as she disobeys the moral codes of her society, and engages in adultery as well as other improper social behaviours. Emma transforms her appearance to match her new luxurious lifestyle while at the same time suppressing her own desires for something different, such as intelligence and cultivation; she is no longer content with reading romantic books and attending parties, as she wants more out of her life. As Emma's infidelity becomes more and more dangerous, her husband Charles turns to an assortment of physicians in a futile attempt to cure what he perceives to be her illness. Eventually, Emma finds herself in a seemingly hopeless situation and turns to a dubious solution to resolve her problems. She accumulates debts and tries to keep up with her new lifestyle, but the price she pays is high. Mia Wasikowska delivers an outstanding performance as Emma Bovary, perfectly capturing the naive desires and tragic downfall of a woman whose ambition for a more fulfilling and luxurious life pushes her into self-destruction. The supporting cast is equally impressive, including Rhys Ifans as the local pharmacist Homais, who plays a bitter realist, revealing the ugly truth about society, society values, and human behavior. Ezra Miller plays the young clerks Leon, who notices Emma's ethereal beauty. Their romance is doomed from the beginning, and their love affair is filled with insecurity and self-absorption. The film is beautifully shot, capturing the stunning French countryside and the lavish lifestyles of the wealthy in exquisite detail. The attention to period details is particularly impressive and adds a layer of authenticity to the story. Cinematographer Andrij Parekh, the movie's creative team, beautifully juxtaposes the romanticism of Emma's dreams with the stark reality of her circumstances, which illustrates the other theme of the movie about happiness. Overall, Madame Bovary is a poignant and elegant period drama that captures the beauty, tragedy, and ultimately the sadness of a woman whose dreams are bigger than her reality. The film offers insight into the human condition, particularly how societal expectations and desires can lead to the destruction of those very aspirations. The cinematography is a masterpiece, highlighting the beauty of Flaubert's narrative by telling it through visual art. The acting is marvelous, with each character growing and exploring their individual ambitions and desires, making the audience intrigued to the end. Anyone who has ever yearned for something more in life, especially those looking for a complicated love story, will find themselves captivated by the emotional journey of Madame Bovary.