Bel Ami

2012

Bel Ami

Critics Consensus

Bel Ami contains some soapy pleasures but it overall rushes through the narrative and suffers from a vague central performance by Robert Pattinson.

28%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 94

29%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,271
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Movie Info

Bel Ami is the story of Georges Duroy, who travels through 1890s Paris, from cockroach ridden garrets to opulent salons, using his wits and powers of seduction to rise from poverty to wealth, from a prostitute's embrace to passionate trysts with wealthy beauties, in a world where politics and media jostle for influence, where sex is power and celebrity an obsession. -- (C) Magnolia

Cast

Robert Pattinson
as Georges Duroy
Uma Thurman
as Madeleine Forestier
Christina Ricci
as Clotilde de Marelle
Kristin Scott Thomas
as Virginie Rousset
Colm Meaney
as Monsieur Rousset
Natalia Tena
as Rachel the Prostitute
Philip Glenister
as Charles Forestier
Holliday Grainger
as Suzanne Rousset
James Lance
as Francois Laroche
Anthony Higgins
as Comte de Vaudrec
Timothy Walker
as Solicitor
Pip Torrens
as Paul the Butler
Christopher Fulford
as Police Commissioner
George Potts
as Chief Cashier
Eloise Webb
as Laurine de Marelle
Iain Robertson
as Innkeeper
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News & Interviews for Bel Ami

Critic Reviews for Bel Ami

All Critics (94) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (68)

  • The supposedly cunning protagonist registers as a cipher, and the directors' tendency to shoot dialogue scenes in close-up blunts any understanding of the social milieu he's trying to conquer.

    Jun 21, 2012 | Full Review…
  • The women are all elegant and intelligent, they know the ways of the world, and they know Georges' history. Why do they find him attractive? We don't, and that failure is the downfall of the film.

    Jun 21, 2012 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Pattinson's passion is bloodless, his rakish George Duroy a font of undelivered potential.

    Jun 15, 2012 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

    John Anderson

    Newsday
    Top Critic
  • Good actors flit in and out of the movie - particularly Kristin Scott Thomas and Colm Meaney - but no one seems able to conquer the essential silliness of it all...

    Jun 14, 2012 | Rating: 1.5/4
  • What distinguishes Pattinson in the role is the sense he conveys of someone roiling and churning beneath a surface that is almost, but not quite, calm.

    Jun 8, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Cramming over 400 pages into a little over 100 minutes not only skips over important incidents - like Georges' embarrassed return home with one love -- but rushes the characters through emotional arcs.

    Jun 8, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bel Ami

  • Nov 01, 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.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 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!
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 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.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 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.
    Manu G Super Reviewer

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