Madame Bovary (1991)

Original Title : Madame Bovary
Director : Claude Chabrol
Writer : Claude Chabrol
Gustave Flaubert
Genre : Drama
Country : France
Language : French
Producer : Marin Karmitz
Music : Matthieu Chabrol
Maurice Coignard
Photography : Jean Rabier
IMDB ID : 0102368
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poster for "Madame Bovary" by Claude Chabrol (1991)
Madame Bovary (1991) - Claude Chabrol


Isabelle Huppert Emma Bovary
Jean-François Balmer Charles Bovary
Christophe Malavoy Rodolphe Boulanger
Jean Yanne M. Homais
Lucas Belvaux Leon Dupuis
Christiane Minazzoli Widow Lefancois
Jean-Louis Maury Merchant Lheureux
Florent Gibassier Hippolyte
Jean-Claude Bouillaud Monsieur Rouault
Sabeline Campo Felicite
Yves Verhoeven Justin
Marie Mergey Charles Bovary's Mother
François Maistre Lieuvain
Thomas Chabrol Vicomte
Phillippe Abitol Maltre Hareng
Gilette Barbier Natasie
Dominique Clément Madam Homais
Olga Colin Maitre Guillaumin
Julien Dubois Hivert
William Clément Mère Roler
Claude Pascadel Dr. Canivet
Aleksandr Vatkovic Blind Man
Jacques Dynam Abbe Bournisien
François Périer Récitant/Narrator (voice
Pierre Vielhescaze Serviteur Au Mariage (uncredited


In nineteenth-century France, the romantic daughter of a country squire (Emma Rouault) marries a dull country doctor (Charles Bovary). To escape boredom, she throws herself into love affairs with a suave local landowner (Rodolphe Boulanger) and a law student (Leon Dupuis), and runs up ruinous debts. This film version closely follows Flaubert's novel and includes most of the famous scenes, such as the wedding, the ball, the agricultural fair, the operation on the clubfoot, and the opera in Rouen.


Over-economical screenmake of a literary classic Just finished watching this film on VHS after a long search of London libraries. Disappointed, but first the good stuff... Huppert does the soul-wrent-in-twain-through-moral-confusion well. The others in the cast are unknown to me but do a better job than on the made for TV version (BBC 2002) simply because they are French (don't live day to day with ironing boards for spines). The costuming is beautiful - this is important to twist the knife as Emma's debt becomes incommutable. The bad stuff - the direction. Or lack of it. La Ceremonie is the only Chabrol film I can remember worth seeing, this film is not as bad as the recent zzz-worth Merci pour le Chocolat... there's French filmmaking and there's unabashed pretension and that film is the latter. The continuity in Bovary is sloppy as is the sound editing (although Chabrol's brother's score's OK). The final straw is Huppert's inability to find some of the naivete that is so engaging in, say, Heaven's Gate. The latter part of the film is good - it's as if her scheming to avoid the fate she is preparing for herself increases the fall she succumbs to. But at the beginning, she's the same character... there's no preparation for a transformation. And WHY - WHY OH WHY does this production insist on white sub-titles? It's such a cheap error! 5/10... buy lots of popcorm.