Any lush and impressively assembled adaptation of Guy de Maupassants novel with regards to a charming cad who rises throughout the Parisian high society from the Belle ?poque by wooing women necessary to his cause, Bel Ami stutters as an alternative to glides and while punctuated by some impressive performances and a fine sense of design it might never quite choose the right balance between its dual storylines of seduction and also politics.
Reluctant heartthrob Robert Pattinson helps make a brave stab at the immoral and manipulative Georges Duroy – the Bel Ami with the title – and while his appearance and intense charisma may conquer Twihards, the film may employ a tough task finding a simple marketplace. Kristin Scott Thomas along with Christina Ricci impress as Parisian ladies whore won over by Duroys allure, though Uma Thurman seeing that his Machiavellian equal is deficient in the charm to convince in her demanding time role. R-Patz fans seeking the bodice-ripping costume romance will likely be disappointed.
But the film may well find a market in the harder-to-break area of the older generation who might appreciate the films political complexities and graceful design and style.
Guy de Maupassants 19th century novel has been adapted for the display before, most famously in Albert Lewins fashionable 1947 film The Exclusive Affairs Of Bel Ami, which starred a cultured George Saunders from the lead role (along with included Angela Lansbury as well as Ann Dvorak as a few of the women left in his wake). This adaptation is jointly directed by Declan Donnellan and also Nick Ormerod, making their feature debut, who are known throughout theatrical circles for founding the particular avant garde theatre company Cheek by Jowl.
In Paris of this 1890s, George Duroy (Pattinson) has returned from serving from the French Army in Algeria. Down to his last few francs, he bumps into Forestier (Philip Glenister), an older man who he knew inside Army who now is usually political editor at La Vie Francaise newspaper as well as who invites George into a dinner party at his or her house.
The cream of Paris society is at the dinner – as well as demure Madame Rousset (Kristin Scott Thomas), whose husband (Colm Meaney) extends the paper and fairly sweet Clotilde (Christina Ricci) – in addition to Georges finds himself encouraged to publish about his Army intrusions by Forestiers wife Madeleine (Uma Thurman), an ambitious and determined woman who has strong views about this political situation in Northern Africa.
With Madeleines help he writes an article that is accepted because of the newspaper, and taken onto the payroll he sets away to seduce the married Clotilde. In love with him, she eventually breaks off of the relationship, and Georges sets with regards to romancing Madame Rousset prior to eventually setting his points of interest on Madeleine, whose husband is quite ill. He marries her but finds himself from the loop in terms involving political machinations being plotted by Monsieur Rousset and also the new foreign minister.
With his world unraveling, George turns to precisely what he does best, and after divorcing Madeleine (who has been having an affair using the foreign minister) he sets his sights on Roussets teenage daughter Suzanne (Holliday Grainger) as his strategy for securing his position in society.