Posy and punchy, there’s a real culture clash combination at Royston’s Picture Palace
- Credit: Archant
Whether your tastes run to fluffy romance or gritty physical drama, Royston’s Picture Palace is in your corner this weekend.
Round one on Friday evening features a charmer of a contender in the shape of Gemma Bovery, with seconds out at 7.30pm.
If the name sounds familiar, you’re doubtless thinking of the Gustave Flaubert classic about a bored housewive and the havoc that ensues when she tries to cut loose from her suffocating surroundings.
That 1856 novel has been the basis for a string of film adaptations over the years, and even an opera, but although it’s in the DNA of this 2014 romantic comedy it’s not a straight ‘book to screen’ deal.
Confusingly there was also a more faithful bustles and corsets film of the book starring Mia Wasikowska doing the rounds at about the same time, but this one takes its cues from the Posy Simmonds graphic novel.
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Simmonds also penned the Guardian comic strip Tamara Drewe – based on Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd, don’t you know – which stepped up to the big screen in 2010 and Gemma Bovery is another showcase for Tamara star Gemma Arterton.
Here she’s a restless Brit who decamps to Normandy, where her life imitates that of her almost-namesake as French baker Fabrice Luchini, a Flaubert fan, becomes besotted with her and kids himself that he has a part to play in her life.
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It’s a largely gentle meander through middle class marital mores that explores the divide between truth and fiction.
Packing a more visceral punch, screening at 7.30pm on Saturday night, is Southpaw.
There was a lot of Raging Bull-style hype in advance of the film’s release about how star Jake Gyllenhaal had punished himself to get in shape for this emotional drama about a boxer whose life falls apart after tragedy and then has to get back into the ring for that inevitable one last shot.
The Nightcrawler star has plenty of brooding as well as battering to do as trainer Forrest Whitaker puts him through his paces.
Calling the shots from the corner is Training Day director Antoine Fuqua and there’s no doubt that his star, who apparently spent five months in the gym working on his body so that the ring scenes looked right, puts his all into the part.
But the story is all too familiar and critics have dismissed Southpaw as more Rocky than Raging Bull. Pretty much every cliche you’d expect from an overwrought boxing drama is squeezed into the script, and the two-hour running time could well leave you a bit punch-drunk.