Gemma Bovery

Synopsis: Martin, an ex-Parisian well-heeled hipster passionate about Gustave Flaubert who settled into a Norman village as a baker, sees an English couple moving into a small farm nearby. Not only are the names of the new arrivals Gemma and Charles Bovery, but their behavior also seems to be inspired by Flaubert's heroes.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Anne Fontaine
Production: Music Box Films
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
99 min

People watched them

gliding back and forth,

her body immobile, chin lowered,

his posture unwavering, hips arched,

elbows bent, mouth thrust forward.

This one sure could waltz!

They continued a while

and exhausted the others.

We're at the famous Vaubyessard ball.

A crucial episode

in Madame Bovary's life.

The moment at which her dreams,

or so she thinks, come true...

The ball is one of her defining moments.

She spends her life

waiting to be invited back.

Remember all the symbolic characters.

The character of the blind man

who sings about a frivolous love.

That of Justin, the innocent boy

who gives her the arsenic.

We find the same thing

in "Salaambo" with a death

that seems to come out of the blue.

But desire and death

are intertwined.

My name is Jouberi.

Martin Jouberi.

I came back to Normandy 7 years ago

to take over my father's bakery.

After 12 stressful years

at Pelletier Publishers,

annotating university theses

no one would ever read,

I hoped to find here,

like many other Parisians as dumb as me,

a peaceful and balanced life.

A peaceful and balanced life.

Fat chance.


Look what you've given me.

It's burnt to a crisp.


What's got into you?

He may do something stupid.

- Who'?

- Charles!

Englishmen don't shoot themselves.

Too polite.

You think so?

Go shave.

Despite what my wife said,

I wasn't reassured.

What are you doing?

I think it's better to burn everything.

Gemma's diaries...

I haven't the strength to read them.

Want a drink?

So Gemma kept a diary...

"Decided to get married!"

with an exclamation mark.

What she liked about Charlie:

the smell of varnish,

the sawdust on his clothes,

his good humour.

Almost everything.

Everything but the voice of his ex-wife

who called at all hours

with tedious problems.

Too many tears.

It's illegible.

In fact, he was the one

who wanted a change.

A radical change, I'd call it.

Somewhere far away from traffic,

some peaceful little town.

A place where the an of living

is taken seriously.

They arrived one Sunday morning,

at 10 o'clock.

You were being a real pain that day.


You're English?

Joubert, Martin.

And if you...

If you... help,

me, available.

Thank you very much.

Where is... Gus!

Forgive me.

Good day, good afternoon.

Can't believe

they sold that dump.

Well, it's sold.

To an English couple.

Guess their name.

- Eat, Julien.

- Not hungry.

A growing boy needs to eat well.

- What's their name?

- Guess.

Sherlock Holmes.

James Bond.


Bow my.

His name is Charles.

Hers is Gemma.

Isn't that wild?

Here in Normandy.

Where Flaubert wrote his masterpiece.

The film sucked.

I prefer The Princess of Cf eves.

Me, Call of Duty.

We're talking literature,

not video games.

Listen to me...

I'd rather you took drugs

than talk crap.

Excuse me, monsieur.

What is this one?

Graines de tournesol.

One of my specialties.

I'll take sunflower.

To urn es of.

What's this?

The croquinette.


But I'd recommend this.

A milder taste.

It's made with linseed.

I'll take the all.

Ifl may... we say "all of them."

Or "the lot".

4.60 euros, please.

Come, Gus.

How are you?

Fine, thanks.

What a pretty bouquet.

There are lots there. An entire field.


The name of those flowers.

It's for my vocabulary.

Can I show you something?

Yes... sure.

Right, follow me.

It's a path...

that Ernest Delahaye,

a friend of Rim bauds...

Rimbaud was a contemporary

of Flauberfs...

It's beautiful here.

It's all beautiful.

That big house back there, too.

La Boissi?re.

You should have seen it

in old man Bressignys time.

He threw huge parties.

Now it's a ruin.

I adore ruins.

So you'll love this region.

All the properties here are falling...

Gus! Stop that.

He's cute.

He's a mongrel.

At times a pain in the arse.

I mean neck.

Carrington too, a real pain in the arse.

I'll go on exploring.

In one second,

that meaningless little wave...

signalled the end

of 10 years sexual tranquillity.

- Good evening.

- Sorry, but...

electricity broken.

A power cut.

No, the electricity is... f***ed.

You want me to come?


There we go. Thank you.

The wiring is v?tuste.

Ancient. Old. Kaput.

Have the circuits earthed

or it will keep happening.

Thanks very much.

I have whisky. Want some?

Come with me.

There's the minimarket.

For the last minute.

The supermarket

outside of town is good too.

And there's a hypermarket

five kilometres toward Dieppe.

For really great tomatoes,


Do you know coeur-de-boeuf?


Wednesday is market day.

Or Saturday in Rouen.

Martin has a bread stall.

They have everything.


lam a gastronomical immigrant.

I'm here mostly for the wine.


What about wine?

Wine? I don't know...

It depends what you like.

Gemma prefers white.

But I love red.

So do I.

I'm no wine expert,

but you'll find everything in Rouen.

If you like alcohol,

and I see you enjoy drinking...

In the depths of her soul, however,

she was waiting for something to happen.

Like sailors in distress,

she gazed over the emptiness

of her life with desperate eyes,

searching for some distant white sail

in the mists of the horizon.

They have great cheese.

The best Camembert,

Livarot, Pont-I'Ev?que...

A goat cheese?

No, not goat.

It's cow.

Afield mouse. Harmless.

I hate them.

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Pascal Bonitzer

Pascal Bonitzer (French: [bɔnitsɛʁ]; born 1 February 1946) is a French screenwriter, film director, actor and former film critic for Cahiers du cinéma. He has written for 48 films and has appeared in 30 films since 1967. He starred in Raúl Ruiz's 1978 film The Suspended Vocation. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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