Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Bel Ami ★☆☆☆☆

Boasting an ensemble cast which includes Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci, Kristin Scott Thomas and Robert Pattinson, Declan Donnellan and Nick Omerod's Bel Ami (2012) attempts to combine the sumptuous settings and period sensibilities of Guy de Maupassant's original novel with a slice of contemporary drama - sadly culminating in an abysmal experiment that lacks any of the lavish charm of it source material.

Set in turn-of-the-century Paris, Bel Ami chronicles Georges Duroy's (Pattinson) ascent from an impoverished ex-soldier to perhaps the most successful man in France. After a chance encounter with an old army college, Georges finds himself working for a prestigious Parisian newspaper. Whilst his prowess with the pen may lack the verbose approach of his contemporaries, his ability to manipulate the wives of these powerful men soon sees him at the pinnacle of this socioeconomic ladder - with his powers of seduction leaving a trail of destruction and heartbreak behind him.


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