Bel Ami France, Italy, UK 2012 – 102min.

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Bel Ami

Valérie Lobsiger
Movie Rating: Valérie Lobsiger

A young man seduces the wives of influential men to climb the latter in 1890’s Paris.

Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson), son of a Norman peasant and noncommissioned officer with neither money nor talent, goes to Paris. Charles Forestier, an old army friend with a career in the press hires him as an editor for "La Vie française" and introduces him to high society. The intriguing and brilliant Madame Forestier (Uma Thurman) offers to write articles for him. He seduces her friend Clothilde (Christina Ricci) and when the editor-in-chief Rousset fires him, he tries to seduce Virginie Rousset (Kristin Scott-Thomas) to get his job back. But Bel Ami is very ambitious and aims for power. Will high society let him reach their altitude?

The first film by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod is a success. Their career in theatre helps them recreate the splendor of the Belle Epoque. They remain true to the fierce irony of the original novel by Guy de Maupassant. The ambitious Bel Ami seeks fortune, celebrity and power without wanting to make a minimal effort and relying only on his good looks. What could be more currant than that? Robert Pattison, who debuted in Twilight, confirms the talent he showed in Water for Elephants.



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