Archive for the ‘Declan Donnellan’ Category

Scandalous Liaisons

Bel Ami

Beautiful Friend

A French Quartet!

Robert Pattinson is desperately attempting to shed his alter cinematic ego Edward Cullen now that the Twilight series has wrapped up and stars as Georges Duroy a manipulative and penniless soldier who returns to Paris in the 1880’s after fighting a colonial war in Algeria and soon rises to the heights of Parisian society through various indiscriminate sexual liaisons in the film adaptation of the 19th century writer Guy de Maupassant’s novel Bel Ami, meaning Beautiful Friend.

Uma Thurman is desperately trying to recapture that Parisian intrigue in Bel Ami starring as Madeliene Foster who soon becomes embroiled in an ill-fated love quadrangle with Georges and two other influential and wealthy woman. Unfortunately for Thurman, Bel Ami is no match to the extraordinary brilliance of Dangerous Liaisons the 1988 hit film starring Thurman along with the brilliant Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer and whilst the latter was skilfully directed by Stephen Frears with a razor-sharp script by Christopher Hampton, Bel Ami lacks the uniformity of vision which Dangerous Liaisons so clearly perfected as a masterpiece in drawing room cinema.

Kristin Scott Thomas is no stranger to scandalous period films and has starred in the Oscar Winning The English Patient along with Up at The Villa and Paul Schrader’s film The Walker and in Bel Ami, Scott Thomas plays Virginie Rousset a pliable 19th century cougar who falls victim to the charms and seduction of Georges played by Pattinson.

Christina Ricci seen in the fabulous retro series Pan Am is most famous for The Adams Family and Monster, stars as Clotilde de Marelle another wealthy Parisian housewife who assists Georges in climbing the social ladder rather rapidly in French Society to such a point where he abandons his former lovers and shocks everyone even his former employer, a newspaper editor Monsieur Rousset oddly played by Colm Meaney.

Bel Ami is a fun foursome period romp with some sultry sex scenes to spice up a rather vacuous tale of ambition, betrayal and seduction in 19th century Paris, but is no match to films in a similar genre most notably the brilliant Dangerous Liaisons and the equally enjoyable Belle Epoque set drawing room drama Cheri also directed by Stephen Frears and starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend and Kathy Bates.

For those who love scandalous liaisons and seduction with Robert Pattinson as the young ruthless seducer, then Bel Ami will most certainly appeal especially the final and rather hilarious wedding scene where Georges takes revenge on all those socialites who scorned him in his ambitious rise to power and wealth, a plot only to be found in a fashionable French novel.

Lacking in singular direction and a brilliant script, Bel Ami directed by Donald Declan and Nick Omerod is entertaining, slightly provocative and relies too heavily on raunchy sex scenes and occasional nudity than on the sophisticated art of seduction.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
March 2018
« Feb    
  • Roger Daltrey, LL Cool J to be Honored by We Are Family Foundation
    Roger Daltrey CBE, the frontman of The Who, and rapper-actor LL Cool J will be honored by the We Are Family Foundation, the nonprofit founded by Nile Rodgers and dedicated to the vision of a global family. Daltrey will receive the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peacemaker Award for his ongoing support of charities including Teenage Cancer […]
    Gordon Cox
  • Facebook Starts Testing Patreon-Like Memberships for Creators and Their Fans
    Facebook really wants to get video creators to choose its platform over YouTube, and is now borrowing some ideas from Patreon to sweeten the deal: The company is starting to test a membership model that allows fans to support their favorite creators with a monthly recurring fee, it announced Monday. Creators who participate in the […]
    Janko Rottgers
  • ‘Indivisible’ Director Edoardo De Angelis Starts Shooting ‘The Vice of Hope’ (EXCLUSIVE)
    Italian director Edoardo De Angelis (“Indivisible”) has started shooting “The Vice of Hope,” a drama involving a difficult birth set against the backdrop of child trafficking in Castel Volturno, an area outside Naples known for being the most lawless area in Italy. De Angelis’ film “Indivisible,” about Neapolitan teenage conjoined-twin sisters with beautiful voices, made […]
  • ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Launches Emmy FYC Campaign Billboards and Hotline
    Two billboards outside of Hollywood, Calif., adorned with a special hotline number, are launching Amazon Studios’ Emmy FYC campaign for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Beginning Monday, Mar. 19, the “Mrs. Maisel” character of Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein) will be taking out billboards to promote her new “client” — the latest comedy sensation Miriam “Midge” Maisel […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • Charlie Walk’s Accuser Tells Former Columbia Records Coworkers: ‘You Could Have Done Something’
    Tristan Coopersmith, whose public accusations of sexual harassment against Republic Records president Charlie Walk have resulted in his being placed on leave from the company, spoke again about her motivations for doing so in a 1,500-word-long article published on Refinery29 Monday morning. Since she came forward, four other women have accused Walk of misconduct during […]
    Jem Aswad