Madame Bovary (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

Madame Bovary (1991)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Literary critics long regarded Gustave Flaubert's iconic French novel Madame Bovary as unfilmable (despite several attempts by Vincente Minnelli and others to bring it to the screen), but Nouvelle Vague architect Claude Chabrol set out to definitively prove them wrong with this Oscar-nominated feature adaptation from 1991, starring Isabelle Huppert (The Lacemaker). Huppert stars as Emma Bovary, a woman whose happiness depends exclusively on elements outside of herself. She spends her days indulging in flights of fancy and endless romantic longings, emotionally estranged from her good-natured but ignorant husband Charles (Jean-François Balmer) a physician whom she married as an escape from her landowner father's farm. Her fate seems poised to change when she meets and falls hard for Rodolphe Boulanger (Christophe Malavoy) - a lover who takes her to bed and then vows to elope with her. Pinning all of her hopes on this, she invests in a traveling costume that she's unable to afford (rendering herself completely in debt with a local millner), and plans to skip town with Rodolphe when the monies come due. Alas, Rodolphe, as it turns out, never planned to follow through with the elopement plans, and promptly abandons Emma, leaving her to face the dire consequences of her foolish decisions.more
Rating: PG-13 (adult situations/language)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Claude Chabrol
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 5, 2002
Republic Pictures Home Video


Isabelle Huppert
as Emma Bovary
Jean-François Balmer
as Charles Bovary
Jean Yanne
as Homais
Lucas Belvaux
as Leon Dupuis
Marie Mergey
as Charles Bovary's Mot...
Christiane Minazzoli
as Widow LeFrancois
Francois Maistre
as Lieuvain, Advisor
Dominique Clement
as Madame Homais
Etienne Draber
as Master Guillaumin/No...
Jacques Dynam
as L'Abbe Bournisien
Christine Paolini
as Mother Rolet Nourric...
Henri Attal
as Master Hareng/Gentle...
André Thorent
as Doctor Canivet
Dominique Zardi
as The Blind One
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Madame Bovary

Critic Reviews for Madame Bovary

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Chabrol's ostensibly placid version of Madame Bovary invests Flaubert's portrait of stifled womanhood with unmistakable flintiness. It chafes against the beautiful images with perfect irony.

Full Review… | May 5, 2010
East Bay Express

Audience Reviews for Madame Bovary


Even though much of the novel is gone -- this film, in my opinion, is the best film adaptation of Flaubert's "perfect" novel. However, at times, it feels as though Chabrol is a bit too enraptured with Huppert's beauty and the pacing is thrown off. Still, a masterful work.

Matty Stanfield
Matty Stanfield

I found it to be a slow movie, and I really didn't like the portrayal of the heroine, though that could just be the accurate representation of the character from the book (which I have not yet read). Sometime later in the movie, I just took the DVD out and stopped watching it, which I *never* do.

(***): [img][/img]

Interesting and well-acted.


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