Bel Ami

Bel Ami

Declan Donnellan (2010)

15 Certificate


Our Score
This decorous but fake-looking dramatisation of Guy de Maupassant's oft-filmed French novel sees the commercial tail wag the artistic dog with the casting of Twilight heart-throb Robert Pattinson as an ex-soldier on the make in Belle Epoque Paris. While it's believable that his chiselled looks could lure a succession of influential aristos into bed as he ascends the social ladder to wealth and influence, Pattinson lacks the range to convey the required mix of ambition, guile and duplicity - and his designer stubble seems anachronistic. As his lovers, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and a coquettish Christina Ricci do their best with an unfortunately English-sounding script but Budapest fails to convince as Paris for the exteriors, and behind the camera, Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod (founders of the Cheek by Jowl theatre company) struggle to convert their theatrical experience into a convincing cinematic whole. However, Twihards will no doubt be satisfied with the glimpse of Pattinson's bare bottom.


A penniless, amoral war veteran arrives in 19th-century Paris planning to make a name for himself in high society. He succeeds in seducing a succession of wealthy women, manipulating them into aiding his advance up the social ladder. Drama based on Guy De Maupassant's novel, starring Robert Pattinson, Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Cast & Crew

Georges Duroy Robert Pattinson
Madeleine Forestier Uma Thurman
Madame Rousset Kristin Scott Thomas
Clotilde de Marelle Christina Ricci
Rousset Colm Meaney
Charles Forestier Philip Glenister
Suzanne Rousset Holliday Grainger
Rachel the prostitute Natalie Tena
François Laroche James Lance
Comte de Vaudrec Anthony Higgins
Director Declan Donnellan
Director Nick Ormerod
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Optimum ReleasingGuidance: Swearing, sex scenes, nudity.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 9 Mar 2012