Gemma Arterton is ideally cast as the heroine of this wry Anglo-French comedy drama.
In this adaptation of Posy Simmonds’ comic book she’s a modern-day incarnation of Gustave Flaubert’s 19th-century provincial wife Madame Bovary. At least, that is what Fabrice Luchini’s fretful local baker decides when Arterton’s English expat and her husband (Jason Flemyng) move in opposite his Normandy home. Mutely besotted with his new neighbour, Luchini can’t help viewing her subsequent romantic entanglements through the prism of Flaubert’s fiction.
Director Anne Fontaine’s film isn’t as slyly satirical as Simmonds’ original, but her rural locations and leading lady look the part and the frisky rapport between Arterton and Lucchini is a joy.