'Madame Bovary' first look: Mia Wasikowska stars as Flaubert's tragic heroine

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Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is a timeless literary classic, but it’s been more than 60 years since Hollywood attempted a big-screen adaptation of the 1856 novel. French-born filmmaker Sophie Barthes, who last tackled Chekov in the critically-admired Cold Souls, is currently directing Mia Wasikowska and a cast that includes Ezra Miller, Paul Giamatti, Rhys Ifans, and Henry Lloyd-Hughes.

Wasikowska plays Emma, a beautiful French farm-girl with few prospects who marries a doctor (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) to secure her future. She tries to be happy in her new life — as a wife, as a mother — and when she can’t, she tries to pretend. Until she can’t any longer. She engages in several extramarital affairs that offer glimpses of happiness but ultimately further her despair.

In this exclusive first look photo, Wasikowska wears the 1,000-yard stare of a woman slowly suffocating in her life. The movie is being filmed in Normandy, France, where the novel is set.

If you want to get to the heart of Madame Bovary, click below to see a scene from Little Children, Todd Field’s marvelous 2006 movie with Kate Winslet, who played a modern-day character who shares Bovary’s plight.


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