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Acquisitions – Foreign Films

Music Box Have a Wandering Eye For Fontaine’s “Gemma Bovery”

After shoring up in Toronto with their Cannes pick-ups in Alleluia and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, the Music Box Films folks have landed their TIFF item. In what should be a significant month of post TIFF month of deal announcements, Music Box’s William Schopf has, according to Variety, made his first item pick-up (we feel that there’ll be more in the pipeline) in Anne Fontaine’s Gemma Bovery. Starring another Gemma in Gemma Arterton, the title had the odd distinction of being included at the fest alongside Sophie Barthes’ Madame Bovery. Fontaine’s film as an outside chance at picking up France’s Foreign Oscar nom, and though the trade doesn’t mention it, we expect a 2015 release.

Gist: Martin is an ex-Parisian well-heeled hipster, more or less willingly transformed into the baker in a Norman village. All that remains of his youthful ambitions is a lively imagination and just as lively a passion for great literature, Gustave Flaubert in particular. We can sense his excitement when an English couple with bizarrely familiar names moves into a small farm nearby. Not only are the names of the new arrivals Gemma and Charles Bovery, but their behaviour also seems to be inspired by Flaubert’s heroes. For the creator lying dormant in Martin, what an opportunity to manhandle not only his daily dough, but the fates of flesh and blood characters too! But pretty Gemma Bovery has not read the classics, and is intent on living her own life…

Worth Noting: As the trade pointed out, this is based on a graphic novel by Posy Simmonds, the author of “Tamara Drewe,” which was adapted to the bigscreen by Stephen Frears and also toplined Arterton.

Do We Care?: In a vast array of mutations, Fontaine has been tackling the same subject with various rates of success in Nathalie…, The Girl From Monaco and Adore. Comparably, we fancy the Barthes version.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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