Bel Ami (15)

Film

Historical

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Dec 20 2011

'Bubblier than champagne and lighter than the air of Paris' has been the verdict of French critics on the co- scenarist, director and star of Bel Ami. In the congenial role of Maupassant's irresistible womaniser, who uses his charm to get to the top, the Viennese Forst managed to resurrect the frivolous light-heartedness of a waltzing never-never land in the shape of turn-of-the-century Paris. A delightful parade of Germany's most forceful female stars as Bel Ami's victims (?), and satirical comments on bourgeois parliamentarianism and the free press make it doubly interesting to watch, considering its market was Nazi Germany in 1939.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Mar 2, 2012

Duration:

102 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|19
1 person listening
M. Clark

Vapid is as vapid does. Many will be able to relate to the emptiness of inauthentic liaisons grounded in using people to get what you think you want. Poverty of spirit is epitomized in the young man's loveless marriage to escape poverty. This story is a romantic tragedy.

Andrea Cardi

As a french boy even though I really like the actor in Twilight I think he sucks in here. Very bad acting, specially because in the book you understand George since everything happens from his perspective but in the movie there is no way the viewer can guess how the main character is feeling specially with the bad acting RP showed in this movie. Overall I thought it was the worst movie I have seen in ten years.

bil

A good-looking film - I loved the costume and settings - but as a story very disappointing. I was left wondering what possessed the women to fall into bed with Duroy. In the book Duroy is animalistic in that he responds to situations, and as Mme Forestier shrewdly remarks, sex is to him an appetite. The book is entirely from his perspective, and I wonder if it can work as a film without trying to give Duroy an agenda, as some have done, or leaving him blank as this film does. As for the pruning of the plot - the book is a lot more than a bodice-ripper, and on this level too the film disappoints. Put those two problems together and you have a bodice-ripper with a hero who does not look as if he would have anything the women would want enough – just not believable. Verdict: vastly better than the black and white version – but catch the recent French TV version for something really interesting (a believable Duroy, even if one with a different character from that of the original).

Rodrick

Satisfying overall, with special mention to the brilliant original music score and the magnificent costume disign.

alastair

I thought this was a great film, all performances were excellent, and it made me want to read the book to understand the nuances, and to know more of the history of french exploitation of africa.

alastair

I thought this was a great film, all performances were excellent, and it made me want to read the book to understand the nuances, and to know more of the history of french exploitation of africa.

pablo

Ian you also make assumption about other people, assuming for example they are company insiders because they posted early reviews. I can only repeat that I really enjoyed the film. What you criticize in Pattinson's performance is actually what makes him great. He's playing a guy who's empty inside, but then people bash him for having an empty look in his eyes???? I really don't get it. I will agree with you that Liaisons Dangereuses is better, but that doesn't make Bel Ami a bad film. On the contrary, it's surprisingly dark and relevant with today's politics. I think Pattinson is brilliant. In my heart of hearts I would give it 3/5 but I feel it is so unfairly bashed I'll had a star. It definitely deserves to be seen.

long cat

A tiresome waste of the hour I sat through this heap. The couple next to me started to snore and I struggled to say alert searching for anything decent in this movie. A high quality cast but torrid story.. Pattinson is usually good in this sort of movie and Ricci usually a delight. Maybe could've worked if the story had been set 21st century London and not Englashmen portraying French in Paris but not uttering a single French word throughout. AVOID

USMAN LATIF KHAWAJA

a torture -i have a severe headache and mister calhoun actually liked it -maupassant in the most morbid mode ever with the worst musical score of the year -pattinson cant act if you held a gun to his head and they murdered bel ami in cold blood -poor guy

Alessandro

Bel Ami is probably one of the worst films I've seen in a Cinema. The three ladies in the cast are superb (Uma Thurman, Christine Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci) and really they are the reason why I went to watch this movie. What a big deception. Maupassant's story could have made such a great film. But this doesn't work at all. Characters remain superficial, the depth of the emptiness of this film is epic. Robert Pattinson has the role of the vampire..... but hold on a second: this is not Twilight!

elise

@ian. To be honest, I read your assumptions with surprise. You obviously haven't done any research before writng your opinions. That's okay but it appears a bit weird for those who did. For instance: it was evident that British film makers would choose Britisch actors and not because they're 'cheap'. Every actor/actress included did it for the love of the tale, not for the paycheck, the directors have told this in several interviews. They also told that Mr Pattinson was in very early, just before the Twilight Saga became this juggernaut,, so though he was getting more and more popular, the 'explosion' had yet to come. As you could notice, Bel ami is clearly not ment for the teenage girls. It's an adult story that got rated R in the US. For weeks before shooting Mr Pattinson and the directors did rehearsals on a daily base to create the Georges they wanted. And they did: Georges Duroy was an superficial, empty man. He didn't seduce the women actively, it were the women who took initiative and he went on with them, not to become their love but to become rich and important. That's a different way of 'seducing'. Therefor the actor who performed Georges had to give an empty impression and lack of passion. Pattinson did this very good and most of all: he did it the way the directors wanted him to be.

Mike

It was while driving to see “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel� that I tuned in to listen to Radio 4’s “Front Row� review “Bel Ami�. My only reason for going to see “Best Exotic� was morbid curiosity to see if it was as bad as some of the reviews here on TO – the trailer had already implied it was. So I changed direction and I saw “Bel Ami� instead, and I’m very glad I did. . When I’d heard Mark Lawson of FR say that Robert Pattison was in this film, I was surprised as I knew of him but, other than a trailer for a Twilight film, I’d never seen him act. Needless to say, the choices of Kristin Scott Thomas, Uma Thurman, and Christina Ricci were all excellent – they were all absolutely brilliant and convincing in their roles as Pattinson’s character’s mistresses. . The story’s great, the acting superb, the wardrobe excellent, and the sets, buildings, and street scenes breathtaking. One of the best films I’ve seen in a long while, and knocks spots off some of the weak contenders for the Oscars just gone (“The Descendants� to name just one). Completely compelling. Recommended. A film I’ll try to see again. Four stars.

Ian

One word in the review sums up this film and thats adequate. It isn't good or even great it is alright, it is OK. The story deserved better than this film gives it. The problem is simple, like the Woman in White with Radcliffe, the makers have gone ultra safe picking Pattinson to play a role that he really doesn't bother to make an effort for. There is no emotion or feeling in his performance and that leave a huge hole in the film. With a central character showing no emotion the film is always going to struggle. The rest of the cast is made up of good actors some of whom are playing square pegs in round holes. Meaney, Glenister and Scott Thomas need even less effort than Pattinson to play their roles but Thurman is just plainly wrong for her role. The whole film just strikes me of a one minute pitch to get the film to be made and the money raised. I imagine it went like this. "We will get the broody cute English guy from Twilight to play a brooding moody young man. This will get the teen girls in. We will get Uma Thurman and Christina Ricci in tight corsets to sell it to middle aged men and teen boys with a MILF complex. Then we will add in a few British character actors because they are cheap." It should have been more and to be honest the only character with any semblance of decency is Ricci's Clotilde. Two stars for an adequate film. Expect it to leave cinemas soon and be out on DVD & Blueray very shortly.

elise

I always apprecitate bold intitiatives of film makers who are willing to adapt an old literary classic into a movie. Enchanting Belle Epoque Paris with its beautiful setting and costumes is a good reason to watch Bel ami. Add an unsual but stil very actual story and an excellent cast and you'll enjoy an amazing film evening. Robert pattinson nailed the complex character of Georges Duroy with his frustrations, his ambitions and his talent to seduce women.

pablo

Dark and compelling, it is indeed a refreshing movie. Pattinson pulls a really nice performance, managing to be likeable as a man from poor extraction seeking his place in the sun. Incredibly relevant with recent scandals too! Fans of Pattinson will love him and people who thought he could only look vampiresque and broody will discover him as an excellent, mature actor. A movie that'll remain with you long after you've seen it.

Lynne

Having seen Bel Ami at the world premiere in Berlin, in London at a special screening and also at the Glasgow Film Festival (yes, I get around a bit!) I thought the movie was excellent, something different in a world of Hollywood predictables. Robert Pattinson and his co-stars brought forward an acceptable adaptation of the 19th Century French literature classic. Sumptuous and sexy, with some beautiful costumes and sets, the movie manages to bring that missing sense of humanity and some warmth and understanding to the character of Georges Duroy. A must see, I loved it!