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  M.   September 07, 2014

“The little English lady couldn’t speak a word of French. ‘I settled in Paris for several months, next to the Buttes-Chaumont'”, tells the actress, who was lodged by a French family. Anne Fontaine advised her to learn her text while doing an activity, doing the dishes or in the shower, to avoid stiffness. “My linguistic fluctuation suited the role: Gemma (Bovery) looks for the words like she looks for herself, she’s not sure of herself, she’s a stranger, who doesn’t dare to say things.” Regarding the lack of self-assurance, she admits the difference: “I have a huge self confidence. I constantly need novelty, it’s perfect being an actress. I get bored quickly.”

She knew Luchini as much as she knew the language of Molière. “The family who lodged me, they said: ‘You’ll see, he’s insane.’ I didn’t think he was such a big star in your country. I watched a TV show: ‘wow, he’s really talkative! He talks like a crazy train thrown into the night!'” Did he recite her all of Flaubert? “He knew I understood nothing. So, he refrained.”


“It’s my body, I tried to conceal it, in vain. When I’ll be in my thirties, I’ll have my body roles too.”

“When you’re busty, people want you to play sexy. Well, I’m not a prude, but I don’t want everything to become sexual.”

– Photo Gallery > Magazine Scans > Scans from 2014 > Le Point (France) – September 4, 2014

  M.   September 07, 2014

By Mark Adams, chief film critic

Dir: Anne Fontaine. France-UK. 2014. 99mins

An engagingly lush Gallic romantic-drama that updates Gustave Flaubert’s famous novel Madame Bovary to good effect and pitches a glowing Gemma Arterton as a young married Englishwoman finding adulterous love in bucolic Normandy, Anne Fontaine’s Gemma Bovery is an enjoyably lightweight film given life by some engaging performances and a glorious pastoral backdrop.

Adapted from Posy Simmonds graphic novel – whose Tamara Drewe, based on Far From The Madding Crowd, was made into a film by Stephen Frears four years ago, also starring Gemma Arterton who seems to be cornering the market for such English rose roles – the film favours melancholic comedy over melodramatic drama as the lust for love sits alongside cross-channel bickering between between the French and ‘les rosbif’.

Whereas Tamara Drewe – which again has Arterton’s lead character romanced by virtually every man around her, and lusted after by a mild-mannered narrator – hit more comedy comedy sweetspots, Fontaine’s Gemma Bovery is more gently paced (reflected the mundane aspects of the novel) and therefore may find it harder to reach an audience. But it benefits from Arterton’s genuine sex appeal, which is delightfully balanced by Fabrice Luchini as her neighbour obsessed with the novel and who sees worrying links between her and the fictional heroine.

Luchini stars as genial family man Martin Joubert who has moved back to his family hometown seven years earlier to take on his father’s bakery and shop. When new neighbours move in across the road he is intrigued – Brits Charlie Bovery (Jason Flemyng) and his beautiful young wife Gemma (Arterton) have the same surname as Flaubert’s heroine, and attracted Gemma he starts strikes up a friendship brimming with sexual tension.

While he lusts after her – and even invites her to his bakery for a little bread-making session that brims with clichéd sexual energy as she lustily folds the dough while he leans over her – she may well be frustrated in her rather dull marriage bit has eyes for young and handsome Herve (Niels Schneider), who lives at the nearby chateau, rather than the doe-eyed baker.

While Gemma is overtaken with passion – and things get seriously sexy as Fontaine makes the most of Arterton’s voluptuous physique – so Joubert decides to take matters into his own hands as he decides to try and break up the relationship. But this simply pushes Gemma into the arms of another man – her former lover, played by Mel Raido – which sees Joubert confused and upset that his heroine is behaving in such a manner. But then the story never really tries to explain why Gemma moves from relationship to relationship, except to escape her dull existence and find solace through romance.

There is always a refreshing lack of pretension in Arterton’s performances, and she is unassumingly charming in Gemma Bovary. There plenty of scenes of her wandering through woods with her small dog, dressed in fluttering summer dresses and green wellington boots, and director Fontaine (who made Coco Before Chanel) is not shy on focusing on her physical charms alongside her warm friendliness.

At the same time, Fabrice Luchini is delightful as the genial baker who is mildly obsessed with this physical manifestation of his favourite fictional character. His warm, wide-eyed attraction to her is no simple middle-age lust, but more a man drawn to her simple warmth and openness. The film may lack the dramatic heft of Flaubert’s source novel – and at times finds it hard to balance humour with drama – but it is an engaging and watchable spin on a classic story.


  M.   September 04, 2014

Gemma Arterton was long cast as just a sexy sidekick. Not anymore.

“I’m pretty independent. And I feel very cool in my own skin.”

– Photo Gallery > Magazine Scans > Scans from 2014 > GQ (Germany) – September 2014

  M.   September 04, 2014

Gemma Arterton glows as the title character — a passionate young Englishwoman whose dull married life in a provincial Norman town steers her towards adultery — in this updating of Flaubert’s masterpiece Madame Bovary from French director Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel).

For Gemma Bovery, Anne Fontaine has turned to graphic novelist Posy Simmonds, whose update of Far From the Madding Crowd provided Stephen Frears with the story for his film Tamara Drewe four years ago. This time it is not Thomas Hardy who provides the source material; instead, Gustave Flaubert’s novel of romantic yearning, Madame Bovary, is the inspiration for another imaginative recasting of a timeless masterpiece. Not only do both films have Posy Simmonds in common, they also share the lithesome Gemma Arterton.

Gemma Bovery embraces the melancholy of Flaubert’s great book whilst placing it against the bucolic wonders of the verdant Norman landscape. Fontaine’s film naturally orbits around its young, married protagonist (Arterton) — in this telling an Englishwoman named Gemma who moves into a small French village with her husband (Jason Flemyng). Also at its centre is Martin Joubert (Fabrice Luchini), a baker who has only recently fled Paris, along with his long-suffering wife, in search of stability and equilibrium. Martin rapidly takes a proprietary interest in the English beauty and falls under the spell of her charm. Gemma’s passionate nature is ill-served by her husband, and it’s not long before her eye starts to wander.

The film is not just an incisive look at a young woman confronting a series of key choices in her life as she loses her head in a fit of passion. In Fontaine’s marvellous revision of the novel, she portrays Joubert as a man completely aware of the narrative of the original Madame Bovary who makes awkward and self-conscious interventions in an attempt to change that story. Luchini is perfect as the wary, lovelorn baker, while Arterton fits the role of her namesake to perfection. As both the object and subject of love, she glides into her roles with effortless aplomb.



  M.   September 04, 2014

An English girl — From Tamara Drewe to Gemma Bovery, by Anne Fontaine, former Bond girl Gemma Arterton is building herself the destiny of a carnal icon much like Brigitte Bardot, capable of spellbinding the camera with a simple shoulder movement and of monopolizing a whole film.

“I don’t find myself very interesting but, in the same manner as Gemma (Bovery), my character, I’m fascinated by other people.”

– Photo Gallery > Magazine Scans > Scans from 2014 > Premiere (France) – September 2014

  M.   September 03, 2014

– Photo Gallery > Movies & Television > Gemma Bovery (2014) > Related Clippings > Gaumont Pathé Le Mag! (France) – September 2014

  M.   August 27, 2014

Gemma Arterton has named ‘Wuthering Heights‘ singer Kate Bush as the musical artist she’d most like to play in a movie.

The Tamara Drewe star told ITN that she would prefer not to play a living musician, fearing that they might not endorse her portrayal.

She said: “Kate Bush, maybe, in the future. There are a few people [I’d like to play], but they’re still living. I just think it’s weird playing someone who’s still alive. If they’re rock stars they can be quite scary, people like Courtney Love.

“I love Kate Bush and I reckon I could do a good Kate Bush impression but she’s still alive – good!”

On the prospect of starring in a musical biopic, the British actress commented: “I feel like I’m a rock star trapped in an actress’s body, I’m just rubbish, but luckily I might play a rock star one time. I don’t have to worry about writing music.”