13 March 2010 | claudio_carvalho
Mutilated Version of a Tragic Romance
In July 1839, in Yonville, the widower countryside Doctor Charles Bovary (Pierre Renoir) marries Emma Rouault (Valentine Tessier), the spirited daughter Mr. Rouault (Cahuzac) that is his patient and farmer in Les Bertaux. Emma has friction with her mother-in-law and sooner she feels bored with the simple lifestyle of her husband. Two years later, during an agricultural fair, Madame Bovary meets the womanizer Rodolphe Boulanger (Fernand Fabre) and they have a love affair. When her naive husband falls in disgrace after an unsuccessful surgery, Emma proposes to travel to Rouen with her daughter Berthe and live with Rodolphe. However, her lover sends a letter to her ending their affair and travels alone. Emma gets ill and during her recovery, November 1942, she travels with her husband to see an opera in Rouen, where she meets the young Leon (Daniel Lecourtois) that becomes her lover. When her debts with the trader Lheureux (Le Vigan) reaches eight thousand francs, Emma shall get a loan to avoid the execution of the pledge.
The original version of the tragic romance "Madame Bovary" by Jean Renoir was reduced from 210 minutes running time to 101 minutes, and this certainly explains the ellipsis in many sequences. I am not sure how the standard of beauty was in 1840s since in the present days the histrionic (that was usual in the period immediately after the silent movies) Valentine Tessier can not be considered a seductive woman like the lead role demands. But checking the article "1940s in fashion" in Wikipedia, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1840s_in_fashion), it seems that the women in those years had her shape. Therefore, Jean Renoir seems to be faithful to the period of the story in a perfect art direction. The remark about Jews in the present days would be considered "politically incorrect". When Madame Bovary meets that old man seeking a loan and pretends to cry, this scene seems to be the source of inspiration to Jane Fonda in "Klute" when she is with her client and sees the hours in her watch. This film was released on DVD in Brazil by Versátil distributor. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Madame Bovary"