February 28th, 2012 / 16 Comments


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As some of you know, I was lucky enough to see an advance screening of Bel Ami at the Glasgow Film Festival last week.  It’s taken me this long to recover!!  Not sure if anyone is interested but I’ve put down a few rambling thoughts about the film – it’s not a proper review and I’m certainly not good at looking for deeper meanings, symbolism etc etc.  I also don’t want to give away too many spoilers if I can help it so here goes.    However:

**Spoiler alert** – stop reading now if you don’t want any details or to risk knowing too much.

I honestly was so looking forward to seeing this film but very unsure of what to expect and I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint, I thought it was a really fantastic film!!  I have to say I love my period dramas anyway but this is certainly one with a lot more to it than usual.  It is visually stunning (and I haven’t even started talking about Rob yet) 😉 the sets (both external and internal) are wonderful and the costumes, particularly for the main characters, are beautiful.  Honestly, there’s so much to take in – I look forward to seeing it many more times not just to appreciate Rob but the world he inhabits as Georges.

And speaking of Georges….WOW!!  Such a fantastic range from Rob in this movie – absolutely brilliant.  The despair and bitterness in the beginning when he has nothing, nervously awkward in trying to impress, Georges the Seducer (oh my!!), betrayal, loss and so much more on the way to the cold acceptance of what he must do in the very end.  You can sense throughout the film how much he craves the money and power within society, and there are times you see his confident swagger and conviction that he’s entitled to it all.  There’s so much chemistry between him and his leading ladies and a fair amount of humour in the film too which I wasn’t expecting.  Watching Georges the Seducer is like watching a predator going after his prey at times….choosing his next ‘victim’, circling before moving in….although it has to be said they all go pretty willingly 😉  He is amazing, have I said that already??  As we all know he can convey such feelings and emotions through just his eyes/facial expressions and while there’s plenty of that, he really does get to unleash a lot more….oh and then there’s angry Georges – whole different level of amazing.    One of the best scenes is between Duroy and Virginie (Kristin Scott Thomas) when she gives him some bad news – Oh. My. Georges.    Be prepared, that’s all I’m saying.  Absolutely brilliant.  Her character also provides a lot of light relief (for a while!)….she is such a fangirl for Duroy it’s perfect. Georges and Clotilde (Christina Ricci) are wonderful together and you do get the feeling there is love there.  There is also a scene between his character and Madeleine (Uma Thurman) which yeah….left me a bit unsure – it was an awkward and uncomfortable scene but I think that was the point.  All of a sudden it showed how little he was actually in control, and left me wondering who was using who.  The camera stays on his face and call me a sap but my heart broke a little for him.  It is such a rollercoaster with Georges in this movie, I am not going to lie!!  Of course, he knows what he’s good at, and that is seducing and using women so he’s never down for long (as it were).

Did you see what I did there Georges?….

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Speaking of which, all the leading women are fantastic in this and Rob was equal to them all.  I think the down side for me was in the editing/story telling….some scenes seemed too rushed, a couple of big events which took place months apart in the book seemed to happen instantaneously in the film.  I don’t think it would have been too difficult to show the passing of time – even just a little.  And the ending felt a little too rushed.  It’s not an overly long film so I don’t think adding a few more scenes to fill it out in places and give more explanation would have been too difficult.   Anyway, it’s just a feeling I had while watching but overall I really enjoyed it.  Sooo many more plus points than negative in all of it. 🙂  The more I think about it the more I can’t wait to see it again.

I really hope all of you who don’t have a release date get one soon….you need to see this man.  For all those who have read the book, there’s a lot which stays faithful but also quite a few things have changed.  At times movie Georges behaves better than his literary self and other times worse!

Let me just finish by saying Robert Pattinson IS Georges Duroy.  I adored him in this film. 🙂

  • Maria
    Posted on February 28, 2012

    Jules you are such a tease!

    Thanks for posting hun and I’m still slightly green with envy *mwah*

  • Michelle
    Posted on February 28, 2012

    Jules thank you SO much for sharing your wonderful review with us. LOVE it & enjoyed reading it so so much. Seriously & I know I’ve said it before, the day I finally get to see Rob as Georges I may pass out from excitement LOL.

    SO excited you got to see him. Bet you still can’t quite believe it 😀

  • Michelle
    Posted on February 28, 2012

    Jules thank you SO much for sharing your wonderful review with us. LOVE it & enjoyed reading it so so much. Seriously & I know I’ve said it before, the day I finally get to see Rob as Georges I may pass out from excitement LOL.

    SO excited you got to see him. Bet you still can’t quite believe it 😀

  • Vicky
    Posted on February 28, 2012

    Thanks so much Jules, I’ve been waiting to hear what you thought of the movie!!!! So happy you got to see it if slightly jealous but only slightly :)!!!

  • Sue
    Posted on February 28, 2012

    Awesome review, Jules, thanks for posting! I knew it would take you a few days to recover from your meeting with Georges, but you didn’t disappoint. Can’t wait to see this movie here in Oz *pleads with the gods* ……….

    Love your photo edit too, Jules …….

  • Vertigo
    Posted on February 28, 2012

    This is fantastic Jules, thanks so much for taking the time and sharing with us, your thoughts are deeply appreciated. I do believe we are in for a real treat!
    LOL! I think Georges did see what you did there.

  • Roberta
    Posted on February 29, 2012

    As I read my dear Jules… we almost saw the same film… I’m very happy to say. I also thought Robert is Georges and I think that is the best compliment we can pay him. I wrote an article in Italy and my title was: Rob Pattinson is Maupassants’ Bel Amì!
    Glad you recovered to write your review. Me, myself i cannot wait to see it again!!! Thank you dear!

  • Fuser
    Posted on February 29, 2012

    dear Jules if Maria is green with envy ..then..I’m dark green or maybe olive dark green or dark slate gray or just black evil! lol

    I’m sure we gonna love the play, ( I’m glad for not existed George mustache),
    and after all we all know how crazy difficult is to give life to a book story.
    thank you so much for share this with us and I wish you to be the first who will see the Cosmopolis movie 😉

  • @fearlessmore
    Posted on February 29, 2012

    such a great review!!! we haven’t a release date yet in Italy, but I’m so happy you share your wonderful experience with us, thanks! I’m sure it will be the same for me, I’m sure I’ll love it! I can’t wait to see Rob as Georges!!!

  • Cindy
    Posted on February 29, 2012

    Fabulous Jules 😀 And Like Maria, most green with envy ox

  • Martha M
    Posted on February 29, 2012

    Jules you lucky think. I am dark green with envy. But so glad you got to see it. Thank you so much for your wonderful review. I can’t wait to see it.

    Please, please Lord give us date now!!!!

  • Bee Kaye
    Posted on February 29, 2012

    Thank you Jules for sharing your review of Bel Ami. Fantastic that you were able to be in Glasgow. If Hopscotch are the agent for this film ? hold-up for Australia, or are we waiting for US?? Does anyone know? I’m just holding on ………………………………. by my nails!!

  • Jan
    Posted on February 29, 2012

    I so enjoyed reading this, thank you so much.Just makes me even more anxious to see it.Im beside myseld with waiting ,as we all are.I hope all you wonderful ladies are well and thank you Jules for the review <3

  • Maria
    Posted on February 29, 2012

    @Bee Kaye – Hopscotch is the distributor for Australia and New Zealand and it has nothing to do with the US. Each distributor for a country has control of release dates. Hopscotch has quite a few films being released so I guess it’s a matter of time of slotting it in. That’s my assumption by the way.

    I was once told by a cinema operator that release dates can change depending on whatever else is being released around that time. For example, noone releases a film around the same time as a Harry Potter film. It’s a bit like a game of chess I suppose. Anyway – am just waiting for confirmation from Hopscotch and once I know you will ALL know 🙂

  • Carmel
    Posted on February 29, 2012

    @Jules – I’ve been waiting to hear your thoughts on BelAmi. I know I find it difficult to review any Rob movie with an unbiased eye. I don’t know if I’m being too adoring or too harsh. It takes a few viewings to get my head straight.
    You’ve done a fabulous job with your review. Even being able to take in details like the costumes and editing never mind being able to form opinions on them is a marvel in itself. I thank you for going that extra mile to give us all these facts as well as information about Rob’s performance. I know that wouldn’t have been easy. x

  • Jules
    Posted on March 01, 2012

    You are all amazing!! I don’t think I say that often enough 🙂 Thanks so much for humouring me and letting me ramble on about this film. I really can’t wait to hear what you all think of it when you finally get to view for yourselves!! Fingers crossed that day will be SOON!! 🙂

    @Roberta – thank you very much. Makes me smile to think we agree about this film. 🙂 *hugs*

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