Madame Bovary

(Vincente Minnelli, USA, 1949)


Claude Chabrol's version of Madame Bovary (1991) may have been more faithful to the details of Gustave Flaubert's classic novel, but Vincente Minnelli's freer adaptation is a more stylistically daring, emotionally intense and politically radical rendering.

Jennifer Jones is not the "mediocre", pathetic Bovary of Chabrol's film. She is a true, feminine hysteric, turned inside out by the contradictions between her social milieu and her inner desires.

Madame Bovary is certainly (as Robin Wood has suggested) the "most neglected and misrecognised" of Minnelli's major works.

MORE Minnelli: The Band Wagon, Brigadoon, The Pirate, Some Came Running, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Meet Me in St Louis

© Adrian Martin December 1992

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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