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Bel Ami

240 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Based on Guy de Maupassant’s classic novel, this tale of temptation and obsession chronicles Georges Duroy’s (Robert Pattinson) rise to power from his meager beginnings as a penniless ex-soldier by using the city’s most influential and wealthy women. Set in turn of the century Paris, Duroy seduces Madame de Marelle (Christina Ricci) then marries Madeleine Forestier (Uma Thurman), a former comrade's wife. Fueled by his insatiable quest and lustful greed, Duroy conquers Madame Walter (Kristen Scott Thomas), only to learn that every conquest is marred by betrayal and that true love eludes him.

A period drama based on Guy de Maupassant's classic novel of the same name, Bel Ami is a story about power, corruption, greed, and the seduction of influential women. Set in Paris in 1890, the film opens with the destitute Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson) having just returned from war and desperate to scratch out a living. A chance encounter with fellow ex-soldier Charles Forestier (Philip Glenister) offers Georges an introduction to high society, where he discovers that the wives (Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci) of some of the most prominent men in Paris hold the power to elevate Georges' social and political standing. Georges is a shrewd manipulator and seducer of women, and though he experiences betrayal and scorn at the hands of these powerful wives, his efforts yield meteoric social, political, and economic success. He never looks back at the women he's hurt or what might be missing in his personal life. The costuming in Bel Ami is stunning and effective, but great costuming is not the only necessary ingredient in a first-class period film. Pattinson never wins over the audience--he seems stony-faced and sullen much of the time, and he quite simply lacks the charisma the role requires. The audience is left puzzled as to why the women in the film are so attracted to Georges and why they can't see his ill intent. Ricci gives the most powerful performance as Clotilde, and Scott Thomas and Thurman also acquit themselves well, although key portions of dialogue with Thurman are very difficult to discern. Viewers will find themselves genuinely detesting most of the characters as well as the "moral" that by doing bad, man wins big--and that's just what the film's producers and author Maupassant likely intended. --Tami Horiuchi

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Uma Thurman, Robert Pattinson, Christina Ricci, Kristin Thomas, Colm Meaney
  • Directors: Nick Ormerod, Declan Donnellan
  • Producers: Uberto Pasolini
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 7, 2012
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0083H6AQA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,131 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bel Ami" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 79 people found the following review helpful By JazzGirl on May 4, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
It is tragic that this movie was so far underpublicized by the production team and, consequently, did not find it's audience. The performances are all superb. The film is visually stunning. The story is intriguing and moves you quickly from love to hate and back again for all of the characters. A diamond in the rough sadly not getting to the masses.

Robert Pattinson's turn as Georges DuRoy will have you loving and hating the man in equal measure, often careening from one to the other in the space of seconds. While, sadly, the book-to-film translation of all of DuRoy's nuances isn't quite fully realized due mostly to some rushing of material, Pattinson's portrayal of the sympathetic blackheart leaves you not knowing if you want to kiss him or shoot him. He moves effortlessly from moments of astonishing vulnerability to shere cold-hearted bastard status and right back again. He brings a sympathy for George's plight which I honestly felt was impossible after reading the novel.

Colm Meaney is the standout of the supporting cast, playing the calculating Rousset to perfection, making you hate the man even as he suffers his final defeat. The standout among Georges' leading ladies is absolutley Christina Ricci as the long-suffering Clothilde. She is simultaneously wide-eyed innocent and worldly temptress and gives reason to Georges' softer moments. Uma Thurman plays Mme Forrestier with a wit that is unexpected and has the pleasure of being the source of one of the most uncomfortably ironic moments of the film.

The film itself is a visual feast, with wonderful costumes and sets, each themselves giving you a second lense through which to view DuRoy's accension.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By I'd rather be at Pemberley! on May 24, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
If you've read the book you know it's pretty dastardly, that is if you can suffer through the awkward translations available.

The initial movie seems a bit slow which affects your investment in the characters. But somewhere in the middle it starts to take off and I felt that the actors, especially Rob Pattinson found their footing, which made the rest of the film quite interesting. I will take exception on some of the panning and focus shots they did on the characters at times. It reminded me of an Oscar Wilde comedy, a bit out of context for this genre of film.

Cristina Ricci did a phenomenal job as always as did Kristen Scott Thomas. However, I felt Uma Thurman a bit out of place. She is by all means a talented actress but I believe miscast for this role. It somehow threw the balance off, especially since I thought her a bit over acting in her character, and her exaggerated annunciation of French annoyed.

Several times I thought that Rob Pattinson looked, how shall I put this......not as good looking or "dandy" as one would have expected. But I think it is a testimony to his interpretation of the character George Duroy who, perhaps is supposed to be quite "bel" physically but in actuality is a miserable person inside.

Epic film? No. But worth a rental.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Grey on May 7, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Based on the novel by Guy de Maupassant this movie is a drastic turn from Robert Pattinson's performance in the Twilight Saga. Set in 19th century France and Georges Duroy's(Pattinson)quest for fortune bring Pattinson's acting skill to a new level. Stellar performances by Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman and Christina Ricci. A must see for those who love any of the actors in the film.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By dudleydoright on July 10, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I liked the movie and I pick movies apart. The connection was great and this was the first time for me to use the movie amazon process. The only disadvantage in the online process was that if you wanted to go back and listen to something you missed it took a few seconds to rewind back but nothing drastic. Here is my honest opinion of the film. Just remember that everyone has an opinion. I cannot say without being honest that Robert Pattinson did not embed the character fully until about half way through the film. But one cannot deny this man has talent. At the time, you are looking at a 23 year old man with limited experience in portraying adult males. I think considering all, he can hold his head up with pride. The viewer can see that there was definite ease between Ricci and Pattinson because their performances flowed and I give Ricci credit, she performed well off of Pattinson. I feel that Thomas gave an outstanding performance as well. She flowed great with Pattinson. That love scene between Pattinson and Thomas was exceptional! It displayed the pure callousness of Pattinson's character and the starved mature woman's need for affectionate worth. Ricci pulled off her character's need for sexual enrichment and you get Pattinson's connection with this woman and how she expects little back by placing very little demands on him. In my opinion, which is like belly buttons, everyone has one, Thurman was a miscast. Her performance wasn't really the issue, she did well with the character, however, she wasn't as receptive to Pattinson, as if there was a hidden reluctance to let go, which also seemed to bar him a little. Also, Thurman's raspy voice gives less than a gentile female ora.Read more ›
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