The film, Bel Ami features a young man’s rise to power through his manipulation in Belle Époque Paris.
This is an adaptation of the second novel by French author, Guy de Maupassant that delves into techniques of persuading the city’s most influential and wealthy women.
The penniless soldier turned social climber, Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson) uses his ambition, power and seduction to improve his lifestyle in the 1890s. Hoping for luck, Duroy manages to manuever his way into the Parisian elite circle.
Returning from the French Army in Algeria with nothing, Duroy liases with a former acquaintance, Forestier (Philip Glenister), the current political editor at La Vie Francaise newspaper. Forestier invites Duroy to a dinner party at his house where everything changes.
The high society women are charmed by the heart-throb as he enters their world. Strategically sleeping with a selection of women including the young Clotilde de Marelle (Christina Ricci), the sexual Madeliene Forestier (Uma Thurman) and Virgine Walters (Kristan Scott Thomas), Duroy gets the women to find him work through their powerful husbands to increase his social status.
The film is jointly directed by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod. It’s an impressive adaptation of Maupassant’s classic novel. The film transformed 19th century literature into an erotic drama with interesting camera angles and too many close-ups of the stars.