Gemma Arterton is ideally cast as the alluring heroine of wry Anglo-French comedy drama Gemma Bovery, the second time she has taken the lead in an adaptation of a Posy Simmonds’ comic book.
2010’s Tamara Drewe found her playing an updated version of the heroine of Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd; this time she’s a modern-day incarnation of Gustave Flaubert’s 19th-century provincial wife Madame Bovary.
That at least is what Fabrice Lucchini’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 luscious new neighbour, he 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 are equally ravishing, and the frisky rapport between Arterton and Lucchini is a joy.
Certificate 15. Runtime 95 mins. Director Anne Fontaine
Gemma Bovery is available on Blu-ray & DVD from Soda Pictures.