Sunday, May 31, 2015

Multiple Bova/eries

How many adaptations or pseudo adaptations of Gustave Flaubert's most famous novel can one cinematic year support?

At least two, apparently.

I've had Gemma Bovery on the brain lately, as I just reviewed (and liked) the film, and was freshly reminded of it as it finally opened in Australian cinemas on Thursday. (I say "finally" because I went to the screening like three weeks ago.)

So imagine my surprise when I went to the movies on Thursday and also saw a poster for the upcoming Madame Bovary, directed by Sophie Barthes and starring Australian favorite daughter Mia Wasikowska.

It would be tempting to say that one was piggybacking off the other, but I don't know which one that would be, as they are being released only six weeks apart but were actually both screened for the first time in 2014. And of course, Gemma Bovery is not actually a proper adaptation of Flaubert's novel -- it's actually based on a graphic novel, involving characters who have the same names as the characters in the novel, a fact that they are aware of.

I think it will be really funny if, and I daresay likely that, both will actually be playing in some of the same cinemas at the same time. That's something even the competing volcano movies or meteor movies or White House captured by terrorist movies could never say. Gemma Bovery would have to hold on until Madame Bovary's July 9th release date, but it certainly seems possible that it will, especially somewhere like Cinema Nova in Carlton, which has enough screens to keep riding moderate hits until they are deader than dead. At that point, Madame Bovary may be facing stiffer competition from Far From the Madding Crowd, which releases June 25th.

Who says costume dramas about women in moral peril are dead?

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