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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

[5.75/10] Bel Ami (2012)


Bel Ami (2012)

Brief review: Hitting US theaters on June 8, "Bel Ami" is based on Guy de Maupassant's 1885 French novel of the same name, and directing duo Declan Donnellan / Nick Ormerod's first movie in 15 years. Even though it's sexy, provocative and erotically-charged, the movie fails to engage on an emotional as well as dramatic level, due to a lackluster execution and stagy script. The main problem with "Bel Ami" is that it feels quite forced. Everything works out way too easily for the main male character, and even the accidental happenings in the movie seem contrived. As a result of all that, the otherwise interesting story becomes less exciting and plausible as the movie progresses. Teen idol, Robert Pattinson, tries to redeem himself from his terrible roles in the cheesy "Twilight" franchise, and although there's a slight improvement in his acting abilities, he's still incapable of expressing any genuine emotions. Pattinson's so-so performance aside, the acting is excellent, especially from the alluring female cast involved. Uma Thurman does a great job as the wealthy and quietly powerful wife-turned-widow, Madeleine, Christina Ricci is captivating as the naughty and seductive Clotilde, and Kristin Scott Thomas gives a sensual performance as Virginie. Also, the film is beautifully-shot and fascinates with the authenticity of its exquisite set design, gorgeous costumes and truly ravishing cinematography.

Overall summary: Despite its sexy, fantastic female cast, sophisticated visuals and provocatively lusty nature, Donnellan & Ormerod's "Bel Ami" ends up being a moderately engaging mixed bag of a period drama, that is as beautiful on the outside, as it's emotionally empty within.

6 comments:

Melissa Bradley said...

Robert Pattinson has one look and that's the pouty teen look. It's irritating and I am not planning on seeing this. Plus, the novel is basically about how easy it is for a handsome boy toy to manipulate women, which I never got into.

I love your review , though. Very eloquent. :)

Maynard Morrissey said...

Hey george, I'm curious: there are 36(!) movie reviews in your queue, mostly horror and oldschool stuff. Will these reviews ever see the light of day? :)

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Mel, absolutely. And he has dead eyes as well. LOL.

Yep, the movie is about the same thing. It's an okay effort, but nothing outstanding.

Thank you, sweetheart. :)

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Maynard, first of all thanks for noticing this long movie queue. :)

I doubt that I'll review those in the near future, but if I do, I'll probably 'quickrate' them.
I'll write mini reviews for the 2011 horror movies featured there, because my top 15 horror movies of 2011 list is just around the corner. :)

Maynard Morrissey said...

Yeah come on, bring on the return of the Quick Ratings! :)

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Maynard, I will... pretty damn soon ;)