BEL AMI

4.5 out of 10

Release Date: 9th March 2012

Director: Declan Donnellan & Nick Ormerod

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Holliday Grainger, Anthony Higgins, James Lance with Philip Glenister and Colm Meaney

Writer:  Guy De Maupassant / Rachel Bennette

Trailer: BEL-AMI

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Pattinson plays Bel-Ami a well-connected – yet illiterate ex-soldier who attempts to break into Paris’ high society by seducing as many women as possible, carefully using them as steps in his ladder. Trouble is he’s such an insipid and sulky idiot, it’s a wonder that he’s able to attract anybody and outside the looking glass convince anybody watching the actual film.  The procession of fine actresses, borrowed from Hollywood gainfully add a bit of flavour to the soup but the story is too episodic and when peril does actually show up it’s the product of a chunk of the story that has been omitted from the film so it ends up being a confusion (maybe there’s a longer cut of the film).

Robert Pattinson proves to be a good actor on this occassion (also see WATER FOR ELEPHANTS and LITTLE ASHES), I just think it’s a poor choice of book to adapt and the wrong time to do it.  Bel-Ami suffers from being both colourless and pretty uninvolving. Dependable character actors like Colm Meaney (ONE CHANCE) and Philip Glenister (ID) are sidelined and only serve to disappoint.  Uma Thurman (KILL BILL), Christina Ricci (THE ADDAMS FAMILY) and Kristin Scott-Thomas (ONLY GOD FORGIVES) fare better but they are little more than ciphers and devices in part of Bel-Ami‘s dopey plan. It’s immaculately lensed and the score is great, it’s just a shame it all amounts to so little.

4.5 out of 10 – Too dry and old fashioned to be able to entertain. Only R-Pattz fan completists need apply – and even they may well leave bored.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?

  • Robert Pattinson: Queen of the Desert, Map of the Stars, The Rover, Breaking Dawn 2, Cosmopolis, Breaking Dawn, Water For Elephants, Remember Me,  New Moon, Eclipse, Twilight, Little Ashes, Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire
  • Uma Thurman: The Slap (TV), Movie 43, Nymphomaniac, Playing For Keeps, Percy Jackson, Motherhood, The Accidental Husband, The Life Before Her Eyes, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, The Producers (2005), Prime, Be Cool, Kill Bill 2, Paycheck, Kill Bill 1, Tape, The Golden Bowl, Sweet and Lowdown, The Avengers (1998), Les Miserables (1998), Gattaca, Batman & Robin,  The Truth About Cats & Dogs, Beautiful Girls, A Month By The Lake, Pulp Fiction, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, Mad Dog & Glory, Jennifer 8, Final Analysis, Robin Hood (1991), Henry & June, Dangerous Liaisons, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Johnny Be Good
  • Christina Ricci: The Smurfs 2 (voice), New York I Love You, Speed Racer, Black Snake Moan, Penelope, Cursed, Monster, Anything Else, Ally McBeal (TV), Miranda, The Man Who Cried, Bless The Child, Sleepy Hollow, Pecker, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, Buffalo 66, The Opposite of Sex, The Ice Storm, The Last of the High Kings, Now and Then, Capser, Addams Family 2, The Addams Family, Mermaids, The Hardway
  • Kristin Scott-Thomas: Suite Francaise, My Old Lady, The Invisible Woman, Only God Forgives, In The House, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, Nowhere Boy, The Woman In The Fifth, Sarah’s Key, Love Crime, Leaving, Nowhere Boy, Confessions Of a Shopaholic, Largo Winch, Easy Virtue, The Other Boleyn Girl, I’ve Love You So Long, The Golden Compass (voice), The Walker, Keeping Mum, Chromophobia, Code 46, Gosford Park, Up At The Villa, Random Hearts, The horse Whisperer, The English Patient, Mission Impossible, Angels & Insects, Richard III (1995), Le Confessional, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bitter Moon, Autobus, A Handful Of Dust
  • Holliday Grainger: Cinderella (2015), The Riot Club, Great Expectations (2012), Anna Karenina (2012)Jane Eyre (2011),  The Scouting Book For Boys, Awaydays
  • Anthony Higgins: Malice In Wonderland, Chromophobia, Alive & Kicking (1996), Nostradamus (1994), The Concierge, The Bridge (1992), Young Sherlock, She’ll Be Wearing Pink Pyjamas, Indiana Jones and The Raiders Of The Lost Ark, The Draughtsman’s Contract
  • James Lance: The Devil Went Down To Islington, Legendary, Northern SoulThe Look Of LoveCity Rats, Bronson, Marie Antoinette, Late Night Shopping,
  • Philip Glenister: Life On Mars (TV), I.D.
  • Colm Meaney: A Belfast Story, One Chance, Alan Partridge – Alpha Papa,  The Hot Potato, Parked, The Cold Light Of Day, Get Him To The Greek, Three and Out,  The Damned Utd, Intermission, This Is My Father, Claire Dolan, Con Air, The Road To Wellville, War Of The Buttons, The Committments, The Snapper, The Van, Star Trek – Deep Space 9 (TV), Under Siege, Into the West, The Last Of The Mohicans (1992), Far and Away, Die Hard 2
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