Thrill Me Thursday…Thrilled By Bel Ami…Cared’s Review!

Top 'O the Mornin!

Bel Ami showed on Sunday night at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and lucky me was there to see it.

 

I’m trying hard to remember the details so I can share an in-depth response with you all but I can tell you this, my overwhelming feeling as the film ended was that I loved it.  I would have very happily sat through it again as I’m sure I didn’t fully appreciate the attention paid to the historical accuracy of the lavish sets or the beautiful detailing of the period costumes for both the men and women.  I remember thinking that the score fit perfectly with the film although I cannot recall the detail of it now. 

 

There was just so much happening on screen vying for my attention, not least of which was an extremely handsome leading man.  And that’s what he was – a man – all man.  He strode around with a confidence that put me in mind of Clark Gable or Cary Grant.  It was so nice to see that Robert Pattinson was given the freedom, and I suspect the encouragement, to actually act – not just produce a performance to a given formula. 

 

After hearing from the dynamic duo of Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod before the film, I’m not surprised at the passion that everyone involved obviously poured into the production.  They said it was a labour of love.  The actors took cut price salaries, but there is nothing cut price about their performances.  The directors have a very impressive history in the theatre that adds a certain element to the film.  I can’t quite put my finger on what it is; perhaps it is that some of the scenes could play perfectly on a stage without adaptation.  It had a lovely feel to it.

 

Despite a strong dislike for Guy de Maupassant left over from my school days, as an adult, I read the book Bel Ami with an open mind.  It just proved to me that although times may change and centuries may pass, human beings will always be the same.   This book could have been written and set in modern times in terms of lust, greed, hunger for power, power games, political intrigue, international relations, corrupt media and plain old love, betrayal and forgiveness.  While I’m aware that much of the politics from the book are merely alluded to in the film, it keeps the film from being heavy allows it move along at a nice pace.

 

I was given a hard time (TWSS) for focussing on the sex scenes when I gave my initial thoughts on the film on Sunday night.  All I can say is: let she among you cast the first stone and all that LOL.  Since I believe inquiring minds want to know – I will share.  Stop reading now if you don’t want to know about them.  First of all there are a lot of sex scenes, but let me tell you, they do not become boring; they are never the same.  That’s not just because Georges changes his lovers more often than he changes the sheets on the bed!  It was quite amusing to watch him hurry one lover out the door as he had an unplanned post coital nap and it was time for his next lover to arrive.  You know you should want him to be caught and face the consequences, but he smiles that devilish smile and you are glad that he is not.

 

The first sex scene is the famous – or is it the infamous – nekkid arse thrusting scene between Georges and the prostitute.  I don’t want to spoil the anticipation for you by giving too much detail; I know I am evil.  It was quick, not that I’m implying Georges was quick even though the scene was.  My DH takes great delight in the fact that Viggo Mortenson, another favourite actor of mine, has a skinny arse (it’s an undeniable fact).  I took great pleasure in sharing the perfectness of Rob’s nekkid arse with DH on my return home; again, I know I am evil.  There is lust fuelled sex, sex purely for gain, sex that is making love and sex between Georges and his wife that is quite disturbing.  It is a tribute to the quality of the acting from Rob and the leading ladies that the difference is obvious each time.

 

I particularly liked the performance from Christina Ricci as she played Clotilde de Marelle as though she was born in that era.  I’ve always liked Holiday Grainger since I saw her in A Bad Mother’s Handbook years ago and thought her a skilled actress. As Suzanne Rousset, she only has a relatively small part to play in the film but she plays it perfectly.  She looks so happy and innocent walking down the aisle on her husband’s arm; I wonder does she have any understanding of the kind of marriage she has ahead of her or is she actually another player?  Colm Meaney played the pompous Rousset magnificently and Philip Glenister played the unfortunate Foriestier very convincingly.

 

If you go to this film hoping to see the perfect man you will be sorely disappointed. Georges Duroy is more than easy on the eyes, the colours and cut of clothes suit his body shape and long legs very well.  Look behind the facade though and you will find a very flawed character.  He has come from a background of poverty and deprivation.  He had a taste of wealth and the good life while in the army and upon his return to civilian life has once again to face the harsh reality of being poor.  He believes he has the right to a better life and is driven by greed and ambition to use his good looks to further his aim.  Without shame, he is manipulative and thoughtless as he uses and then discards those who can be of benefit to him.  Somehow, underneath it all, you can see the poor boy who is desperate to never be hungry again, who loves a woman he can never fully have and who himself – in turn – is used and manipulated by others and even cheated upon.  On paper Georges is a despicable cad; I don’t know how Rob did it, but on screen he managed to display Georges not just with all his faults, but also in his loneliness and desperation.  He made me feel sorry for him; he made me wish love and happiness for him whether he deserved it or not. 

 

There is no denying Bel Ami has strong dark themes. It is intense and dramatic,  with outbursts of anger and violence, some sizzling sex scenes, but there are also moments of humour and love. It is beautifully set, nicely filmed and features some wonderful performances.  There is something for everyone.  I happily admit to being a fan of both Robert Pattinson and period films but really you don’t need to be either to enjoy this film.  IMHO overall it’s a good entertaining story well told. 

 

 Cared

 

Thanks to Melbie for most of these pics!

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43 Comments

Filed under Bel Ami, Breathless, Do It For ROB, Georges DuRoy, Missing Our Boyfriend, oh lalala, RAAWWRRR

43 responses to “Thrill Me Thursday…Thrilled By Bel Ami…Cared’s Review!

  1. edwardsvamptramp69

    Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait! Thanks, Love! I saw “Bad Mother’s Handbook” and I’m trying to place the actress. It was a while ago, I’d probably have to watch it again.

    That was a very descriptive review and I’m sure the rest of the h00rs will appreciate it, too.:)

    • Thanks edwardsvamptramp69. Holly played the pregnant girl in TBMH, remember how hilarious Daniel was during the labour scene? That’s is her in the wedding picture above.

      • edwardsvamptramp69

        Okay, yes! I was thinking it was her, but as I said, it was a while ago that I saw it.:)

        As I said, after your review, now I’m even MORE determined to watch “Bel Ami” many, many times. Like you said, you miss so much the first time trying to take everything in.

  2. christa64c

    Thank you Cared, for the comprehensive review. Even though I rarely listen to critics, especially when it comes to Rob, I was very disappointed in the reviews that came out of Berlin. Like always they focused on only one of his characters (Edward) and seemed to delight in not only picking his work apart but to unilaterally decide he can only ever be Edward Cullen. I for one believe that he has true talent, as evidenced by his heart wrenching portrayal as Tyler in Remember Me and Jacob in Water For Elephants. I may get stabbed through the heart for saying this, but I believe those two performances outshone Edward by far and shows what Rob the actor can really do when given the chance. As I sit here in the U.S waiting on pins and needles to get a firm release date for Bel Ami, I’m so grateful to people like you who have seen the movie and have strengthened my resolve to ignore all critics and clear my calendar for repeated viewings of Bel Ami as soon as it opens here!!!

    • Oh, I don’t think you’ll get stabbed in the heart, Christa! Most of us agree that Rob’s other characters show much of his true acting abilities, even though we do love Robward as well. It’s just wonderful to see what he can do with each new character he protrays.

    • Did you notice christa64 that I never mentioned the E or V words once. Edward to me is the ultimate man…er vampire…you know what I mean. He was not in this film, so unlike those with very small brains who review for a living, I didn’t feel the need to harp on relentlessly about Robert’s previous films. Those reviewers seem to review to a formula and like to over use clichés, they pigeon hole Robert’s fans. We know better though don’t we ladies. We can tell the difference between a man and the character he portrays and we vote with our feet, all the way to the cinema, when we get the chance. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  3. Thank you so much Cared for taking the time to review this under appreciated film. I know that as Rob fans, we are a bit biased. But your review was so articulate, encompassing all aspects of the movie and giving us a great glimpse at the man Rob plays, I can’t help but smile like a Cheshire cat. It just sounds like an all around enjoyable film and I can’t wait for the day that we can all finally enjoy it!

  4. dazzledbyrp

    The character of Edward Cullen is stoic – he must always reign in his emotions and stay in strict control of himself. It didn’t give Rob a lot of room to show his acting skills. Playing him in 5 movies made Rob the object of ridicule by many critics and non-Twilight fans even though he was actually capturing the character perfectly. I mean, this is one of the reasons so many fans initially fell in love with Rob. They were in love with Edward from the books and he “became Edward” on the screen. Those of us that follow him closely and have seen his early films and also Remember Me and WFE know there is so much more to Rob the actor. I’m so hoping that as he distances himself from Twilight, he will gain the respect he deserves. Cosmopolis should be big for him.

    And Cared, I’ve read at least a dozen reviews of Bel Ami – both by fans and by critics and I think yours is the best one I’ve read. You obviously understand the book, the story, the characters and the difficult transition of all of that from the written word to the big screen. Great job. I really enjoyed your review. Can’t wait to see the movie – although I may have to go to India to see it!!!!

    • Thanks so much dazzledbyrp, I’m glad you like it. God knows how I remember any of it though. I was so excited beforehand and sucked in during every scene. It will be in the cinemas here in early March, you can organise an RA trip to Ireland and I’ll put you all up LOL.

      The real fans of Twilight – the books or films and indeed the real fans of Robert Pattinson can differentiate between reality v fictiion and actors v characters. We know and understand, if we keep saying it long enough and loud enough maybe one day film reviewers will understand too.

  5. That was an amazing review, Sweetness! You are as multi-talented as the boy.

    I personally think Rob’s best role that I’ve seen to date was in WfE; I imagine him improving and stretching himself in different ways in everything he does. The reviews from Berlin are some kind of twisted misogyny – if women like an actor, he can’t be any good. I’ve heard it so often before. I sincerely hope Rob ignores it all.

    But your review was truly inspiring, Cared. Insightful, well-rounded and beautifully written. I’m sorry I teased you about the sex-scene fixation! 😉

    • Sex-scene fixation – moi! Gingerandgreen, you know me so well. LOL
      I hope he keeps his belief in his abilities and brings us many more interesting characters.

      • ilovealion

        Hello Cared.

        What an excellent review of Bel Ami. Even as an eternal RP lover, like myself, you were able to focus on so much more than just his divine stature and thrusting arse. Lol. I can’t say that a review from me would have been as stellar and well- rounded as yours was. For us poor American Rob lovers, we’re still waiting on pins and needles to find out if the film will even be released here. I for one am quite POed by that fact!! We deserve To see his thrusting… Er um… I mean acting over here, too.

        Thank you for making my mouth water until I am able to see him on the big screen for myself.

        Heart you.

        Can’t wait for our slumber party!! Who’s bringing the Edward blow up doll to the festivities? Lol

        • You might think it’s focussed and well rounded but wait until you see the film for yourself the tenth time and realise that I missed out of about half of it. I can’t wait to see it again as I’m sure I did. Thank you for making sure it would be understood, you know I can ramble.

          Maybe Bel Ami will be on DVD in time for our slumber party and we can have a movie marathon. Think again if you think I’ll be carrying that kind of contraband through customs!

          • ilovealion

            Oh yes!!! Bel Ami DVD + pause button= rob porn at its finest.

            Did I tell you that I’m flying from Vegas to LA for a layover?? Hey, I may never be on the west coast again, so I wanted to at least trod where he has been. (please don’t pity me- my obsession is quite sad) lol

            • dazzledbyrp

              Hey ILaL: I don’t know how long your layover in LA is, but if you have time to walk around, go down to Bradley Int’l Airport. LAX is shaped like a horseshoe and Bradley is at the top of the curve. That’s where Rob flies in and out of. Maybe you’ll recognize some of it from the many sad panda pap airport shots.

              • ilovealion

                OMR!!! Thanks so much for the tip (haha tip). I will be there for three hours, so I should have time to piddle around.I’ll definitely head that way. I pulled up the terminalmap and wondered where the pics were taken. I usually fly in and out of atlanta, so I figure I can find my way around there. Lol

                Thank you sooooo much.

                • dazzledbyrp

                  You should have plenty of time. Bradley is also the best place to get something to eat or drink and people watch. Hey, you never know…..Rob may be flitting in or out on his was to or from somewhere while you’re sipping on a latte! Just remember that at most of LAX, arrivals are on the lower level and departures are on the upper level. I almost missed a connection once in London because I got off of the plane to follow Farrah Fawcett around and I didn’t realize I couldn’t get back on at the same location. Had to go through customs, etc. It was a nightmare, but we made it. Just check everything out ahead of time and you’ll be fine.

                  • ilovealion

                    Thank you soooo very much. You never know… I might get lucky and see the precious heading for vacation. (Hey a girl can dream can’t she?)

                    *squee*

  6. Thanks for the great review, Cared! It makes me more and more anxious to see “Bel Ami”. To think we have to wait until June to see it here, grrr!!

    • mydenofsin for once Ireland and the UK are getting a film before the rest of Europe. Think of all the angelz who have no date yet, we are so lucky in Europe.

  7. Sus

    Dear Cared,

    Thank you for the excellent review….I’m breathlessly awaiting the U.S. release date!
    I think, knowing how much you and most of us here love Rob, you gave a very unbiased review of the film. I think outsiders’ views of Rob are so skewed by his Edward and the Twilight craziness, that they can’t see how outside the box he has stepped for this role.

    Wait til Cosmopolis comes out! I have such a strong feeling that this will be his “break-out” role, but BA sounds like a great start!

    I think it’s fabulous that we all support our Rob in all he does! That’s a true fan!

  8. luvtwilight72

    I can’t wait for Bel Ami to come to the US:) Thanks for the detailed review it gets me excited o see it!!

    • You are welcome luvtwilight72. I so hope you get to see it in the US cinemas. Nothing beats the big screen experience. Hopefully the fan campaign to get it to open will be successful.

  9. smittenkitten

    I have missed ya’ll…but damn it, wordpress HATES me! It’s so hard for me to get here & comment, GRRRR! *rant.over*

    Cared, great review…love the pics…excellent post!
    Thanks bb.
    xo~

    • I hope you get to see it before too long smittenkitten.

      I have wordpress accounts in three different versions of my name that I have somehow accidentally set up while trying to log in. How did I manage that? LOL

  10. Cared, thank you so much for the detailed review! So excellent! I am so excited to see this…. *crossing my fingers* for a near future Canadian release date.

  11. Sorry ladies, for some reason I only got the first three comments and then nothing! WP Fail again I guess. Rita was the one who told me everyone was here havin fun and I missed it 😦 well anyways cared you did a Fabulous Job! Thanks for sharing. Good night all.

    • Hey RobsFan-tasy, thanks for adding the visuals. I love those still all the more now that I have seen them as part of the film. Mhaw!

      • Was my pleasure BB! Thank you for doing this. as you can see it was grealy appreciated by all. I’ll make a blogger out of you yet! 😀 I knows Talent when I see it! That’s why I’m a Rob girl 😀

        Sorry I missed all the fun my email client sent everything to my junk box!!!! WTF??? So now I have to keep going back there to check my junk mail box for all the important things! That’s why I got incredimail in the first plas was so i didn’t have to log into another site to get mail mail several times a day! I have all the luck don’t I?

        It’s so nice to see everyone here! Thank you all for taking the time to comment! I know WP can be a B*tch sometimes too. But we all appreciate hearing from you!!

  12. Awesome review Cared! (I am not surprised though, you always do a beautiful job).. this review just makes me want to see the movie all the more now!

    I truly am looking forward to seeing Rob play a bit of a devil… I have a feeling I will be buying it the day it comes out on DVD .. LOL

  13. exaltada

    I love reading about this… Thanks for sharing your opinion with us. I think it´s a good film, and I hope with all my energies to see this film (and, sincerely, Rob´s ass ^^) in my country (Spain) .

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