Robert Pattinson in BEL AMI - Now On DemandJune 08, 2012
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: BEL AMI (Magnolia).
By Amy Slotnick
Paris in the 1890’s was the Belle Epoque, and all about aristocrats in lush, satin dresses and top hats, dancing at arms length while teasing sexual innuendos from beneath their corsets. Or at least this is how it is portrayed in BEL AMI, the new period drama based on the novel by Guy de Maupassant.
This is the setting where we find Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson), who recently returned from serving the military and now longs to be part of the rich life. Though he is without any money or talent, he does have the good looks needed to propel him to at least get a job as a journalist. Never mind that he can’t really write and is lazy about doing work. He soon realizes he is exceptionally good at something even more valuable – seduction.
Each rich (and married) woman he encounters, becomes his for the taking. He makes his way into the bedrooms of three main characters played by Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas. One steamy sex scene after the other, results in each woman falling in love with him with Georges unwilling to return much emotion. When he learns Thurman’s husband is ill, he strategically puts himself at the deathbed’s side, ready to propose marriage the moment her husband croaks. As the marriage and story progresses Georges becomes darker, jealous and more heartless, but still lustful and vain.
Though the film does a great job with setting the scene – through sumptuous costumes, sets, and music – the performances lack much depth. Although some might not be as surprised about this from Pattinson, who has yet to prove he can succeed with beyond his TWILIGHT character Edward Cullen, even the usually sublime Kristin Scott Thomas and Uma Thurman come off as shallow and false in this. To me this points to the director’s immaturity more than anything.
While BEL AMI is engaging throughout, it is mostly from the titillation of watching Pattinson seduce one beautiful actress after another.
Amy Slotnick is a contributor to On Demand Weekly. She works as an independent producer and freelance consultant to film financing start-ups. Previously she was a Senior VP of Production at Miramax Films.
BEL AMI (Magnolia) is in your local cable movies on demand section.
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