Bel Ami
Bel Ami

Film Review

Film title
Bel Ami
Director
Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod
Starring
Robert Pattinson, Christina Ricci, Kristin Scott Thomas, Uma Thurman
Release date
9 Mar
Certificate
15

More info

Bel Ami screened at Glasgow Film Festival 2012 and is released nationwide 9 Mar.

GFF 2012: Bel Ami

2/5 stars
Film review by Becky Bartlett.
Published 24 February 2012

Bel Ami, based on a Guy de Maupassant novel, marks the feature debut of directors Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod. The quality of the sets, costumes and cast belies the relatively small budget; Budapest replaces Paris – so, no Eiffel Tower or Moulin Rouge in sight. As the social-climbing George Duroy, Robert Pattinson is expected to carry the film, featuring in every scene.

He undoubtedly looks the part but his determination to be taken seriously as an actor, while admirable, is evident too often, to the detriment of the film's authenticity. The more experienced actresses, particularly doe-eyed Christina Ricci, frequently steal the scenes they share with their leading man. Yet the biggest problem here is the utter lack of passion. As George beds woman after woman, with the specific intent of moving up the social ladder, the seduction is non-existent. So too is the hedonism and debauchery of Paris in the 1890s. George is a hollow character, but it is a shame that the film is too.