Heads Up: Bel Ami
Fangs away but love still has bite for raunchy R-Pattz
What are we talking about?
A film adaptation of Guy de Maupassant's 1885 novel, which follows a young man, Georges Duroy – “Bel Ami” – as he charms and seduces his way to the top of Parisian society.
Fangs away, but the claws come out: R-Pattz is Bel Ami in the Belle Epoque.
It's the film debut for one of the theatre world's hottest duos: Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, of the multi-Olivier-winning international company Cheek by Jowl. The exec producer is one Simon Fuller, better known as a pop manager and Pop Idol creator.
Very starry. Robert Pattinson may be hoping to break from the blessing/curse of Twilight – but as Duroy he'll still get to do plenty of smouldering. Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman and Holliday Grainger all look brittle, beautiful and distressed as his romantic conquests.
The Early Buzz
Sight & Sound reviewed it thus: "If Bel Ami occasionally feels airless and overly art-directed that may partly reflect the period it's set in, but also the directors' over indulgence in facial close-ups. It's almost as though they didn't trust their actors to express emotions in mid-shot – the last thing you'd expect from theatre directors. This does [Pattinson] no favours, since in close-up his face tends to lapse into the bovine, but at further remove he gives an alert amusedly insinuating performance." Total Film awards "full marks to Pattinson for tearing into his Edward Cullen persona with plenty of arse-bearing sex-scenes", and concludes it's a "lush period romp ... but a toothless adaptation of biting source material".
Bel Ami has been adapted for film and TV at least nine times before; most famously in The Private Affairs of Bel Ami in 1947, starring George Sanders and Angela Lansbury, when it was given a moral he-gets-what-he-deserves ending, quite at odds with the source material, by Hollywood censors.
It's great that...
There's no such rewrites here: wickedness remains wickedly profitable.
It's a shame that...
The classic French novel is done in dodgy accented English, not French, despite Donnellan and Ormerod's rich professional history of staging plays in other languages. After all, if they can pull off Shakespeare in Russian....
The mere presence of R-Pattz should be enough....
Bel Ami goes on general release from 9 March.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw
Miley Cyrus concert banned on morality grounds in the Dominican Republic
Celebrity Big Brother 2014 line-up: Meet the contestants from Lauren Goodger to Kellie Maloney and Audley Harrison
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians