Bel Ami

Bel Ami

Based on the novel by Guy de Maupassant, Bel Ami chronicles the rise of penniless ex-soldier Georges Duroy through the echelons of the 1890s Parisian elite and is a tale of ambition, power and seduction. 2.5 out of 5 based on 14 reviews
Bel Ami

Omniscore:

Certificate 15
Genre Drama
Director Nick Ormerod & Declan Donnellan
Cast Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman, Colm Meaney, Kristin Scott Thomas, Robert Pattinson
Studio Studio Canal UK
Release Date March 2012
Running Time
 

Based on the novel by Guy de Maupassant, Bel Ami chronicles the rise of penniless ex-soldier Georges Duroy through the echelons of the 1890s Parisian elite and is a tale of ambition, power and seduction.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

The social protocol unravels and this belle époque, unmasked, turns out to be a hag in make-up. That is the moral here: be true and truthful, or be prepared for the cataclysm. The directors give the story a barbed conviction and the female players, especially, act to the hilt.

08/03/2012

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The Scotsman

Siobhan Synnot

In its next life, Bel Ami deserves to come back as one of those Taschen art books; something gorgeous to look at, but which never leaves the coffee table.

06/03/2012

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Time Out

Dave Calhoun

Spirited and sensible but little more than period fluff.

06/03/2012

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Total Film

Jane Crowther

A lush period romp then, that’ll thrill R-Pattz devotees and bodice-buster fans, but a toothless adaptation of biting source material.

27/02/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

Pattinson doesn't dominate the movie as one fancies a young Alain Delon would have done 50 years ago under the direction of, say, Roger Vadim. But the women he exploits with increasing confidence – Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci – are excellent, and superbly costumed. Something is missing, and that is Maupassant's acute and detailed social observation.

11/03/2012

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Screen

Mark Adams

Stutters rather than glides and while punctuated by some impressive performances and a fine sense of design it can never quite find the right balance between its twin storylines of seduction and politics.

17/02/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

Their film establishes a tone, but just the one: it’s a strident note of sexual opportunism sounded over and over, with a briskly repetitive score ramming it home. Nothing deepens; no one gets interesting; and we end right back where we started – not averse to R. Pattz per se, but wondering if this particular vehicle is quite the thing.

09/03/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

A cornucopia of cleavages and lingering close-ups of Robert Pattinson’s trouser department. For some readers, that may be a strong recommendation. Others may find this version of Guy de Maupassant’s 19th-century novel unintentionally hilarious.

09/03/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

The most dangerously self-conscious liaison is with Mme Walters, played by Kristin Scott Thomas, who is demurely at prayer when Georges shows up vampirically behind her, looking for a socially advantageous shag ... she winds up having to be girly, clingy and pathetic with Georges when it looks all too clearly as if she could eat Pattinson for her pre-breakfast amuse-bouche.

08/03/2012

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The Independent

Geoffrey MacNab

Donnellan and Ormerod, so assured when directing on stage for Cheek by Jowl, struggle with the challenges posed by a period movie. They can't sketch in scenes but are obliged to provide so much visual detail that the film soon creaks under its weight. And Duroy is such a cipher that the film has absolutely no emotional traction.

09/03/2012

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

When Thurman says to him: ‘I had no conception of the depths of your emptiness’, I wondered whether she was criticising Georges’ personality or Pattinson’s performance.

09/03/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

You'd be forgiven for having high expectations of Bel Ami, too, in that it is directed by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, the multi-award-winning founders of the theatre company Cheek By Jowl. But their adaptation of Guy de Maupassant's novel is theatrical in all the worst ways, with its poky, cheap-looking sets and exaggerated performances pitched at the back row of the upper circle.

11/03/2012

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

Rachel Bennette’s vacuous screenplay has no point of view, no sharp social observation and nothing interesting to say about the protagonist and his plight. The film is just a clumsy vehicle for Pattinson, one that thinks it’s a touch classy, because of its literary origins, but ­provides just enough sexual titillation to keep his Twilight fans awake.

11/03/2012

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Empire Magazine

Olly Richards

Pattinson is, of course, a handsome man, but asked to convey Duroy’s scheming with minimal dialogue he tends to just glare petulantly.

05/03/2012

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