A really REALLY GREAT review of Bel Ami from WhatsonStage.com. Here are some snippets from it:
Bel Ami is a sumptuous transposition to the screen (by no means the first) of Guy de Maupassant’s fin de siecle Parisian novel starring Robert Pattinson as Georges Duroy, the dissolute French soldier who rises to the top of society and journalism by the simple expedient of sleeping with the wives of his employers.
These three married lovers are played by Uma Thurman, sly, slinky and smouldering as the political editor’s wife, who writes Georges’ articles for him; Kristin Scott Thomas, giving a brilliant performance of vulnerability thawing into hysterical abandon as the editor’s wife, whom he seduces in church and viciously rejects partly in order to marry her daughter; and Christina Ricci, foxy and flirtatious as the deeply attractive Clotilde, whom he loves above all the others, and whose pert little daughter dubs him “bel ami.”
As a debut movie, and made for the comparative pittance of nine million euros, it’s almost indecently good and highly accomplished. And although Pattinson twitches his nostrils a little too often, he’s spot on as the louche lothario.
There’s a magnificent deathbed scene when Georges goes to comfort Uma Thurman’s almost-widow as Philip Glenister coughs up his last on the coast at Cannes. And the interiors and location shots (Budapest stands in for Paris) are a continuous delight.