Bel Ami

5.41 h 42 min2012R
A chronicle of a young man's rise to power in Paris via his manipulation of the city's most influential and wealthy women.
Declan DonnellanNick Ormerod
Robert PattinsonUma ThurmanKristin Scott Thomas
English [CC]
Audio languages

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Supporting actors
Christina RicciColm MeaneyPhilip GlenisterHolliday Grainger
Uberto Pasolini
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
R (Restricted)
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4.2 out of 5 stars

632 global ratings

  1. 62% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 7% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 7% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

George GoldbergReviewed in the United States on August 31, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
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I have a somewhat different take on this movie than many of the other reviews. The sets and costumes are great, the acting, especially by the women, is more than adequate. The plot is, intentionally, repetitive, as the protagonist plays pretty much the same tricks on all the women. But my main criticism is that, while this is presented as in the nature of a frolic, it is really rather depressing; at least that is how it left me feeling.
8 people found this helpful
mswoonReviewed in the United States on September 15, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Story of a simple minded scoundrel/crook who beds three women on the way to riches
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First he meets up with an old army friend whose wife is a talented writer. She helped him get a job as a journalist but that was it. He fell in love with another man’s wife who has a young daughter and she is the one who he had the deepest relationship but he hurt her by marrying the writer when the writer’s husband passed due to illness. The writer turns out to be too ambitious and uncontrollable for him, so he caught her in an affair and divorced her. Before that, he seduced the wife of the owner of the newspaper. She is just a tool for him and he realized he could not have any benefits from her. Luckily the third women’s daughter fell for him and it is her he married in the end so that he can be rich.
2 people found this helpful
AmadeusReviewed in the United States on September 27, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Deliciously last century
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it’s quintessentially French inspired movie done by Pazolini with three AMAZING actresses. I looked on Rotten Tomatoes rating of 27% and felt pity for the obvious error of judgement - all reviews were about the male character and plethora complains how he is not that good. But in a true French novels of 19 century the hero and god is A WOMAN. Man exists only for the sole purpose either to ruin her or bring her divinity. It’s complex and always tragic. Pattinson is not Tall, Dark and Handsome. He is opportunistic, cold and determined. The bed scenes are fine (somebody was fuming about his ass - it’s not offensive; and after all movie based on Maupassant novella - illicit sin is lurking in a distance). I do believe di Caprio could be a good if not better choice for this role, but perfection is hard to achieve.
2 people found this helpful
One Lonely SisterReviewed in the United States on March 8, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Robert Pattinson can actually act!!
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I have to start by saying I'm not particularly fond of Robert Pattinson. In no way is he a grade A actor, but he surprised me in this film. He was perfect for the part. His rage, disgust, vengeance, seduction, were spot on. I really felt for him and wanted him to succeed, even though he's a bad man. He's a master manipulator and deceiver. Rarely have I seen someone pull off conniving behaviour the way he does. The women are a wonder to watch, each playing their unique part in turning him into the man he becomes. The ending couldn't be more perfect, either. Whether you hope he wins the game or lands in the mud, it's an enjoyable movie to watch, as the wealthy use each other as pawns. Who comes out on top? You have to watch it to find out.
11 people found this helpful
wild oakReviewed in the United States on October 20, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Such a disappointment
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I'm a sucker to most every costume drama, yet this movie is such a letdown. Patterson is a miscast since he doesn't display any charm nor any chemistry with the cast. I have such high expectations on a seemingly solid cast, and I do give them credit for trying their best, from Thurman, to Ricci, and Scott Thomas, but they can't save this dog. Soundtrack has saved this movie from terrible depth, but not enough to redeem it. Apart from the charmless Patterson's Duroy, the worst thing is the screenplay. I'm not even sure what's the point of it. Vanity Fair, it is not. Duroy goes from a beggar, to suddenly pluck out to becoming a journalist ghost-writing for a woman, to back on the DL again, only to rise up again by seducing previously known married women with influential husbands, all within the first 30 mins. Anyhow, I don't have any care for any of the characters. Such a huge disappointment. (I'm rewatching BBC's Pride & Prejudice now...)
One person found this helpful
PDeboerReviewed in the United States on September 24, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
If they don't care, why should I?
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They meaning the actors, the director, et all. Lighting a filter tip cigarette in the first dinner party scene says no one cares about the little things, that is sloppy. Careless and inattentive to detail, no thank you. I will not waste my time on a second rate production that tries to sell it self as something more polished.
2 people found this helpful
dudleydorightReviewed in the United States on July 10, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
Bel Ami Review
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I liked the movie and I pick movies apart. The connection was great and this was the first time for me to use the movie amazon process. The only disadvantage in the online process was that if you wanted to go back and listen to something you missed it took a few seconds to rewind back but nothing drastic. Here is my honest opinion of the film. Just remember that everyone has an opinion. I cannot say without being honest that Robert Pattinson did not embed the character fully until about half way through the film. But one cannot deny this man has talent. At the time, you are looking at a 23 year old man with limited experience in portraying adult males. I think considering all, he can hold his head up with pride. The viewer can see that there was definite ease between Ricci and Pattinson because their performances flowed and I give Ricci credit, she performed well off of Pattinson. I feel that Thomas gave an outstanding performance as well. She flowed great with Pattinson. That love scene between Pattinson and Thomas was exceptional! It displayed the pure callousness of Pattinson's character and the starved mature woman's need for affectionate worth. Ricci pulled off her character's need for sexual enrichment and you get Pattinson's connection with this woman and how she expects little back by placing very little demands on him. In my opinion, which is like belly buttons, everyone has one, Thurman was a miscast. Her performance wasn't really the issue, she did well with the character, however, she wasn't as receptive to Pattinson, as if there was a hidden reluctance to let go, which also seemed to bar him a little. Also, Thurman's raspy voice gives less than a gentile female ora. Her blonde hair also fails to promote a sense of intelligence because if anything, Thurman's character was brilliant in both common and learning sense. Actually, Thurman and Pattinson's characters share commonalities. Now to me the greatest disappointment of this movie had nothing at all to do with the actors because, it was pulled off in the end by the actors. It was held in the hands of the director who controlled the cinematography. I am a lover of period films and I cannot imagine this movie with its set budget and the director's attention to beautiful period details to help transport you back to Paris 1800s, only then to trash all that work by staying close up on most of the shots. Mentally, you couldn't move into that century for lack of visual reference to make the actors believable that they really are in Paris of 1800. I loved Thomas and Pattinson's shot at the flower cart on the street and the awesome church scene. Excellent scenes and performances! Same with Thurman and Pattinson's Cannes scenes. Loved Pattinson's scene when entering in his home asking the location of his wife to their butler. All were enhanced by the beautiful visual setting. You cannot fail to brag on Meaney, Grainger, and Glenister who were also perfectly cast and played out their characters wonderfully. I read a review that assailed Pattinson for not having the acting chops to pull off an 1800's Parisian gentleman. This person clearly missed the character. Duroy wasn't a gentleman by birth at all and Pattinson did portray this clearly of Duroy, as well as, development of this gentleman nature in the character the more the character was exposed to the environment of the rich. Maybe the director should have emphasized this developing change by the desire and intent in Pattinson's character more in the movie verbally. Pattinson pulled it off that Duroy was young, impulsive, selfish, vindictive, sensually driven. lazy and callous. He played off well with most of the characters in the movie. There was only a small amount of over dramatic performing in one scene, the one with all the men at the table at the newspaper office, where he is annoyed and tempered. But by the same token who can deny the wonderful anger performance with Thomas and Pattinson, and the scene where Pattinson orders them all from his house. Excellent acting on Pattinson's part, as well as, his counterparts.! If you like period films, this movie will entertain you. Those who are spitting at Pattinson for thinking he is only an Edward Twilight character, well, shame on you! This man pulled off an excellent performance in Remember Me and can be considered solid in that he pulled off this movie at such a young age. I feel he has talent and will be like wine with time. He will have a fine taste as vintage manifest. Pattinson has the talent to be one of the greats of his time if he plays his cards right. He will be vintage. This coming from a non Twihard and someone who believes that Pattinson deserves a fair chance to perform without being ostracized for an outstanding performance he did in a franchise movie. Watching Pattinson's performance develop in this movie and seeing Remember Me, I just imagine, Edward Cullen, was a less than challenging role for this man. You need to see this man in the character he is portraying on the screen while you are watching the movie and let go of Edward.
15 people found this helpful
CherilynReviewed in the United States on March 21, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Intriguing characters and story worth watching
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This movie is worth the purchase of the DVD. Most of the major cast is well known and played their characters very well. As for the
Movie itself I found it to hold my attention as it is a bit fast paced with keeping up with the many twists and turns of the characters and story plus the ending is probably not what you think it might be.
2 people found this helpful
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