Gemma Bovery - 2.5 Stars
This French film has heart and it does have a clever premise, but it lacks somewhat in depth.
Fabrice Luchini plays the lead in this film and he’s hardly a likeable character, in fact none of the characters are that likeable in this film – making it harder to relate to. Luchini’s performance is strong and he carries the film and at times breaks the 4th wall seamlessly. Gemma Arterton plays Gemma Bovery, whose character is somewhat based on Emma Bovery from the classical novel. Her performance is one of the weakest in the film and this does detract somewhat from the film.
The story was rather light on – life imitating art, in the form of Gemma Bovery’s life imitating Emma Bovery’s life. The story is set in the town where Emma Bovery’s author wrote the text, Gemma’s neighbour sees the parallels and tries to warn her, but she does not believe him leading to her demise. Stories similar to this have been done before, I do like the concept and the breaking of the 4th wall is quaint. The story does have not a great deal of depth to it, you’re never really fully informed about anyone or anything.
This film was fully in French and after the first 10 minutes of reading the subtitles you become fully immersed in the film, so the reading isn’t distracting.
Overall Gemma Bovery is an enjoyable, frivolous film that doesn’t feature any outstanding performances or contain that much depth.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Steven Watt Publicity