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post #1 of 3 Old 08-01-2015, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Madame Bovary (Blu-ray) Official AVS Forum Review

Check out our review of Madame Bovary, a new take on Gustave Flaubert's classic story.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Alchemy - 2015
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 118 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): Dolby TrueHD Master 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish,
Starring: Ezra Miller, Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans, Paul Giamatti
Directed by: Sophie Barthes
Music by: Evgueni Galperine , Sacha Galperine
Written by: Felipe Marino, Sophie Barthes (screenplay) , Gustave Flaubert (novel)
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 4th, 2015

"All she wanted was everything"

My Take:

Set in the 1800's France, Madame Bovary is the tale Emma Bovary (Mia Wasikowska) a girl who impulsively marries a small-town doctor to escape her life on her fathers farm. After she gets a glimpse of French high society, Emma gets bored with her husband and new life . Longing for excitement, adventure and social climbing, she seeks out this desire with adulterous behavior which never has any erotic or emotional weight. This might be my personal disconnect with Mia Wasikowska, but she never seems to command my attention the way a leading lady should.

Set to film well over 10 times, my initial question was wondering if another version of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary was needed? I had heard of the book, but never read it or saw any version on screen, so as far as comparisons go I cant be of much help. From what I saw, this film seemed more concerned with looking the part and being a costume drama then delivering selling the drama of Emma Bovary's longing for more out of her dull existence. This was a long and tedious film, and even with some great acting, cinematography, costume and set design, story is always paramount... I was left assuming this story has a bit more punch than what was delivered onscreen here.

Parental Guide:

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Madame Bovary comes to Blu-ray Disc from Alchemy featuring 1.78:1 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps

Madame Bovary is artistically filmed and directed, and besides some questionable black levels this transfer from Alchemy looks wonderful. Colors are lush and vivid, and finer details are apparent on every frame. I really enjoyed this presentation until some dreaded grayish blacks reared their ugly head. The lossless audio track was very nice even with its limited need for bombast and effect channels besides atmospherics. This track does a wonderful job with dialog as well as folly effects placement in the surround mix. Musical elements are dynamic adding a needed level of weight.

Bonus Features:
  • None

Final Thoughts:

Literary classic Madame Bovary has got to be better than what I saw on screen in this 2015 take. We can check all the period piece drama prerequisites of great music, cinematography, acting and costumes, however, if the screenplay and pacing cant sell the drama, then it just a lot of style over substance. Thankfully this is a gorgeous looking film with a nice transfer from Alchemy...but I don't think that's enough to recommend it.

Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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JVC DLA-RS4910 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Falcon Screens Horizon 138" 2.35:1 Acoustically Transparent Screen
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Marantz AV8802A Pre/Pro
Parasound Halo A51 & A21 7x250
Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triad Gold Monitors
Triad Silver Surrounds x4
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Panamorph DC1 Anamorphic Lens
AudioQuest Wires

Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 3D 1080p Plasma
Anthem MRX-310-AV Receiver
Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
MKSound MP-7 LCR's
MKSound SUR-55T Surrounds
Triad Bronze Subwoofer

Last edited by Lee Weber; 08-02-2015 at 05:12 AM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-01-2015, 09:49 PM
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Thank you for the review. Missed it in the cinema and good to know I can pass on rental as well.

"Madame" in the title.
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-02-2015, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Zhorik View Post
Thank you for the review. Missed it in the cinema and good to know I can pass on rental as well.

"Madame" in the title.

Not just in the title but it reads correctly now.

Thanks for catching that Zhorik, and thanks for the review Lee.


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