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  M.   October 04, 2013

It is a lovely old village in Haute-Normandie. Two houses, surrounded by greenery and flowers, facing each other. In one of them lives Martin, an intellectual baker (Fabrice Luchini). In the other, an English couple recently installed, Charles and Gemma Bovery (Jason Flemyng and Gemma Arterton). If their names mean anything to you, you have won. Anne Fontaine films Gemma Bovery, based on the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds, which transposes in a humorous way Flaubert’s heroine into today’s society.

“It works well because it is an archetype that anyone can relate to, says Gemma Arterton. The main character is a real Emma Bovary of this day and age, she is lost, distant from everything, never happy, never satisfied. The contemporary note is that she suffers mainly from a lack of independence. She is not free, she does not know how to be herself.” The former Bond girl who became a Hollywood star finds it amusing to share her first name with the movie heroine. “I like coincidences and there are others: I had just started learning French when I was offered the script, and this French film takes me back to Posy Simmonds.” A familiar author, since she had already played the title role in Tamara Drewe, brought to the screen by Stephen Frears.

In the scene that’s being shot, Martin has just warned Gemma about Emma’s fate: “I’m afraid for you, he tells her. Everything that happens to Emma… it happens to you… Your name, your lovers, your debts… I know it sounds silly, but life imitates art…”

PS: Fabrice Luchini and Anne Fontaine have previously worked together in La Fille de Monaco/The Girl from Monaco (2008) co-starring Louise Bourgoin and Roschdy Zem.

Gemma Arterton Online’s own translation. Please credit or use a link back if using our text.

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