Bouvard et Pécuchet (Bouvard and Pecuchet). 1989. France. Directed by Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe. Screenplay by Jean-Claude Carrière, based on the unfinished novel by Gustave Flaubert. With Jean Carmet, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Pierre Étaix. In French; English subtitles. 170 min.
Gustave Flaubert, who detested stupidity, set out to write a great satirical novel of 19th-century dilettantism. He died before he could finish it. Some 100 years later, however, Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe and Jean-Claude Carrière fashioned Flaubert’s picaresque tale into one of the wittiest French television adaptations you’ve likely never seen, starring the comedic actors Jean Carmet and Jean-Pierre Marielle as a pair of Parisian clerks who devote their newfound riches and leisure time to becoming insufferable, foolish pedants.
Digital projection courtesy Lagardère Studios Distribution