Bel Ami - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bel Ami Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 29, 2012
A rushed and insipid soap-opera with lame performances, especially by Robert Pattinson, who is a terrible actor completely miscast as an ambitious seducer, unable to show how his character feels and what could possibly draw those refined women to him beside his looks.
Super Reviewer
½ May 1, 2012
I like movies based on this era, but the subject of this movie was senseless to me...
Super Reviewer
December 2, 2012
Started off slow, but really was worth sticking with. I am not a fan of period movies in general, but was interested to see Robert Pattinson in something other than Twilight movies. Also quite like Christina Ricci.
This is a really well acted movie. Robert is quite convincing and you do see that all is not smiles as he seems to be on the surface. The women are also well written and convincing. The sex scene with him and Uma is quite brutal in an unexpected way. Actually hard to watch even though nothing is really shown.
Quite a dark little movie.
Super Reviewer
½ November 27, 2012
Possessed by love. Consumed by desire.

Not so great of a movie! The choice of Robert Pattinson as the hero, or antihero of Guy de Maupassant's novel is probably the main reason for the overall failure of the movie adaptation. Missing the artistic maturity necessary to sustain the depth of a complex character, he seems to feel uncomfortable in his role, and whereas at the beginning his pale, embarrassed face and posture may be suitable for the part of a former poor soldier entering the glittering world of high society, once he is part of it, those same face and posture reveal his true feeling ill at ease in what is a totally unsuitable role for him. That's why the story, centred on his figure, develops in a boring, pedantic way, showing no punch and no real pathos, in search for a bounce that never comes. Nothing to say against the brilliant female performances,the frivolous Christina Ricci is the only one who enlivens the pale and inexpressive face of Georges, but Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas compete for the best performance, the first perfect in the role of the ambiguous Madeleine, and the latter courageous in her role of an ageing married woman, losing her mind for a young lover, and the last scene with her dressed in black at her daughter's marriage to Georges proves the only vivid moment within the whole picture.

Georges Duroy is a penniless soldier returning from war. He travels to Paris in a search for ways to improve his social and financial status. He uses his wit and powers of seduction to charm wealthy women.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2012
Should have read the story line before watching this.
Super Reviewer
½ November 1, 2013
In "Bel Ami," Georges Duroy(Robert Pattinson) finds the opportunity to go out for the evening in Paris in 1890, even though he is almost flat broke. That turns out to be a good move when he runs into Charles Forestier(Philip Glenister, of "Life on Mars"), an old army buddy who is doing well in business and invites Georges to dinner. He even gives Georges some money for the formal wear he requires, some of which is spent on purchasing the services of a prostitute(Natalia Tena). Georges' good luck continues when he is hired to write a newspaper column, with a little help from Charles' wife Madeleine(Uma Thurman) before he starts an affair with Clotilde(Christina Ricci).

While a great looking movie with promise, "Bel Ami," at the same time, cannot decide on what kind of movie it wants to be nor what it thinks of its anti-hero who intends to sleep his way to the top, both critical flaws.(I'd personally go for pitch black farce, myself.) Of course, it does not help that we get another cruel reminder that we will be stuck with Robert Pattinson for the foreseeable future. Otherwise, Christina Ricci is proof positive of the law of diminishing returns while Uma Thurman is neither here nor there. And Colm Meaney is much better playing a nineteenth century robber baron on "Hell on Wheels." But at least Kristin Scott Thomas gets it, stealing the movie with the few scenes she is in while even getting something meaningful out of Pattinson, reminding us what people may have seen in him in the first place.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2013
A ruthless young man claws his way out of poverty and uses the women who help him along the way without regard for their feelings in this lovely costume drama starring Richard Pattinson, Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman, and Kristin Scott Thomas. Young Mr Pattison holds his own among the trio of lovely, talented ladies, surprisingly. His character is not sympathetic, and one feels sorry for the way he uses and discards the people for whom he should be grateful, and yet the story draws one in, wondering just how cruel he can be and still find himself climbing the social ladder of Parisian society. The supporting cast is excellent and the costumes and sets are sumptuous. What a cad!
Super Reviewer
½ November 9, 2012
A drama starring Robert Pattinson is not an easy task, and the directors Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod had a difficulty convincing me that he was the perfect match for Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci and Colm Meaney. I watched it to the end wishing a little bit more but it was always lacking full satisfaction.

The story is based on the 1885 French novel of the same name by Guy de Maupassant which is a wonderful and very enjoyable work... while the film Bel Ami contains more soapy pleasures rushing through the real story. Robert Pattinson was in a role of Georges Duroy (Pattinson describes Duroy as being "completely amoral"), Uma Thurman was Madeleine Forestier, Duroy's secret love interest, and later wife, Kristin Scott Thomas was Madame Walter, whose lover Duroy becomes to further his interests, Christina Ricci as Clotilde de Marelle, who even though married genuinely loves Duroy, and Colm Meaney as Rousset. Not a bad casting.

It was obvious that directors targeted the art film audience, premiering the film out of competition at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, but not many could see the artistic value in it. To me, it seems that 9 million could be spent on something with more substance. Watchable, but not special.
Super Reviewer
½ June 17, 2012
As a big fan of period dramas, I found myself greatly let down by Bel Ami. It has a strong cast, but a bad sense of storytelling, with poor pacing, feeling both slow in parts and rushed in others. The performance by Robert Pattinson in many embodies the film, he looks the part, is capable, but doesn't bring the necessary charisma or subtlety to the film that is needed. The motivations of all involved is too murky, the film's sense of intrigue is simply not interesting enough. Other films have been over similar territory and to better effect, including Barry Lyndon and Dangerous Liaisons.

2.5/5 Stars
Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2012
Although "Bel Ami" fails to fully tear Robert Pattinson away from his vampire upbringings, the fact that the viewer is mostly supposed to dislike his central character provides for some on-par reactions. With a lovely cast of females surrounding him, especially Christina Ricci, who grows more gorgeous with every role she plays and continues to prove that she will one day be an Academy Award winning actress, the focus is taken off Pattinson and his inability to reach beyond a certain base-set of emotions and transcends into a sexy, albeit slightly melodramatic, period piece.
½ June 14, 2013
Period drama about sexism and a jerk who uses it to get what he wants... Along the lines of a mutant mashup of the Libertine and Les Liasions Dangereuse
October 26, 2012
Hello Robert!! Finally a fitting role for this talented actor. Gripping story of Love and betrayal. Not your regular Romantic Comedy. Wonderfully scripted,cast and produced movie. Enjoy
November 28, 2011
Aside from the remarkable acting by Pattinson there really was no reason to watch this movie. The characters in this movie were very flawed and hard to connect with and the ending left a lot to be desired.
½ August 21, 2012
A gorgeous set design, backdrop and wardrobe all the way around. Ricci is intriguing to watch, Scott Thomas is a force as is Uma. Pattinson is afforded the luxury of learning as he goes - a gift to the young 20-something poster boy. I appreciate the fact that he delves into so many non-blockbustery roles and characters, but he was off here. It just wasn't there. But the fact remains you want to watch him. I'm not familiar with the story but I can surmise a lot was skipped over here from the print version. The story was just large swaths it seems building to its climax.
August 18, 2012
I didn't find this as hideous as most critics. I was impressed by Pattinson's acting as well as Ricci.
½ August 14, 2012
Robert Pattinson has had it rough breaking out of the Twilight mode, and crap like Remember Me and Little Ashes doesn't help. Sadly, neither does Bel Ami, an adaptation of Guy de Maupassant's hot-blooded 1885 novel of social ambition. Pattinson is awash in the dark romanticism that isn't all that different from his iconic Edward Cullen character. He plays George Duroy, a former cavalry officer in Algeria set on living the high life in Paris. Pattinson does his utmost best to invest the role with a bruised beauty and integrity eaten away at by greed, but the film does him no favors.

Things begin promisingly with a bedraggled and disheveled George looking through the windows of a Paris restaurant, watching the rich enjoy their privileges. Despite Pattinson's talents, the script from Rachel Bennette is mostly devoid of real substance, it's all sweeping generalizations that are easily connected, especially when the script makes it painfully obvious George's only talent is seduction. Directors Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, who both have roots in the theatre, give the film a frustrating structure that only plays into encounters between George and various women that come off vapidly.

Enter Uma Thurman as Madeleine, wife of George's former army pal Charles Forestier (Philip Glenister), and political editor of La Vie Francaise. Because of Madeleine, George welcomes a job with the paper and so deludes himself that he is talented. And in between beds the married Clotilde (Christina Ricci, the most vibrant thing in the movie) and Virginie (Kristen Scott Thomas), wife of the paper's editor (Colm Meaney). A terrific cast that goes down in flames. Bel Ami should have been electrifying and palpably erotic. Instead it just lands with a thud. Here's hoping Pattinson's turn in David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis is far more cheer-worthy.
½ April 19, 2012
2.5 stars for the wardrobe and the sexy robert pattinson..oh and Christina Ricci's and Uma Thurman's incredible acting. All I saw in this movie was Robert Pattinson getting it on with many different women and beautiful wardrobe. Boring and no real plot.
½ May 23, 2012
The tale of a poor and morally bankrupt social-climber in 1890's Paris, Bel Ami might have pretty costumes and elaborate set design but the lack of a single genuinely likable character in a sea a users, shakers and schemers makes it a trying watch. Based upon an 1885 novel by French author Guy de Maupassant, Bel Ami stars Robert Pattinson (Twilight, Little Ashes) as poor clerk, Georges Duroy, who wants to be rich ... and who will do just anything to achieve that goal. Using a chance meeting with a former army comrade to get his foot in the door with a newspaper, Georges befriends the publisher's wife, Madeleine (Uma Thurman - Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill), who helps him write articles good enough for publication. Her assistance allows him to move-up at the paper and become a respectable journalists after initally being assigned fluff pieces worth little-to-no regard. Through Madeleine, he meets her married friend Clotilde (Christina Ricci - Sleepy Hollow, Monster) with whom he begins an affair (and she is one of the few respectable characters if one can overlook her shortcomings as she is at least kind-hearted). He also begins an affair with the wife (Kristin Scott Thomas - The English Patient, The Horse Whisperer) of a powerful political player in hopes of bettering his prospects. The entire time the women are professing their love for the man, he's scheming of what he can do next as these women are nothing more to him than stepping stones ... and that is the entire film. Georges is a despicable, detestable individual who never learns anything in regards to another's feelings ... his goal of being rich is the only thing that matters to him and this makes the film somewhat of a bore as Pattinson isn't a good enough actor to make us care for him and all of his shortcomings. Half-way through we want to see him get his due as his grudges (how is his previous any of these people's fault?) and disrespect become as petty as he is. Bel Ami has a few successes but wanting most of it to "go away" isn't a good thing for it. Had Georges been a respectable cad (or even remotely likable) the fate of Bel Ami might be different; but as is ... he isn't a "good friend" I'd want or recommend to others.
½ June 4, 2015
Bel Ami is a movie about 3 women who are only attracted to Robert Pattinson because he's, um, Robert Pattinson. That's all. His character has no personality or charm. Nothing. He meets Christina Ricci's character in one scene. There's no sexual tension or anything. In the next scene, she tells him she'll come to his bedroom later.... OK, WHAT?!

This is a flat, dull, badly directed costume drama with an equally flat performance by Pattinson whose only job is to give smoldering glances at women.
½ May 19, 2015
From a novel that emphasizes on the lack of love and the triumph of the cynicism, this movie decides to focus exactly on that that it doesn't have.The excess of romance was nonsensical, and the heart of the novel faded between the scenes of tears and eternal vacuum stares from Pattinson. The natural charm from Bel Ami wasn't credible and was replaced with pure clumsiness. A rushed ending and a innecesary heart-to-heart scene eclipsed the triumph of the lack of values that was the main point of the story.
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