Madame Bovary | Chicago Reader

Madame Bovary

140 minutes

In Claude Chabrol's otherwise faithful 1991 adaptation of Flaubert's novel, Isabelle Huppert is good at conveying Bovary's boredom but not her passions, and as often happens in adaptations, the film is more a series of episodes than a convincing narrative. Yet it soars in its presentation of the milieu, from colorful period detail to the sound of a speech outdoors during a love scene to a lively town market that envelops a character who walks through it. Objects and colors have a sensuous continuity that outlasts the tragic protagonists, an odd reflection of the way individual will in the story seems powerless against the social context. In French with subtitles.

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