I went to see Bel Ami at a test screening the other night in the darkened streets of Soho…OK, a swanky (yes I use that word, problem!?) hotel’s screening room.
The film based on French author Guy de Maupassant’s novel tells the story of Georges Duroy’s (Robert Pattinson…yes the vamp teen!) rise to power in the upper middle classes of late19th century Paris. Having spent his military service in Algeria George returns home near destitute. With the little money he earns, he frivolously succumbs to the more salubrious side of the capital’s nightspots and in particular to businesswomen of the night. Happily for him a chance encounter with an old army comrade – Charles Forestier (Philip Glenister, (yes, him off Life on Mars & Ashes to Ashes) sees his luck begin to change. His new life as a journalist on the newspaper Vie Francaise helped by Charles, who is the chief editor of the paper and his wife Madeline (Uma Thurman), the real power and talent behind the man. George meets and takes a married woman Clotilde de Marelle (Christina Ricci) for a lover and slowly but surely embroils himself into the lives of the rich and powerful. From here on George becomes increasingly amoral as he seduces and manipulates influential women to expand his power and wealth.
Ok so what did I think?
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Review by Craig Roob of Directorsnotes
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