The trailer for Sophie Barthes' (Cold Souls) adaptation of Madame Bovary is here, and it's absolutely stunning. Mia Wasikowska is a dream choice for the unhappily married young woman who yearns for passion and sophistication, and the pastoral cinematography (by Barthes' husband Andrij Parekh) is downright sumptuous.
Madame Bovary is Gustave Flaubert's first novel, and it's a heartbreaking, seductive work of tragic realism that works as a reproof of the romantic popular novels of the time, those impossible romances by Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. While I adore Austen and the Brontës, I can't argue that they offer an unattainable picture of courtship and glamour, and Madame Bovary is such an intelligent contrast to that idyllic portrait of balls and beaux. Emma Bovary is married to a well-meaning but mundane village doctor (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), and she finds herself unsatisfied with married life as it compares to her notions from the romantic books she loves to read. She falls for an intelligent, dreamy young law student (Ezra Miller), and then she falls for a gorgeous scoundrel (Logan Marshall-Green, who is not, in fact, Tom Hardy, but is instead Trey Atwood), and then she falls for the law student again - and all the while, she's building up scandalous amounts of debt trying to dress herself like Emma Woodhouse on a small-town doctor's budget. Things do not go well from there for Emma Bovary.
It's so good, and Barthes' film looks like an ideal adaptation of it. I'm dying for this one. After making the rounds at festivals last year, the release date for Madame Bovary is currently set as "2015." Hopefully that means sooner rather than later.