Movie Review: Bel Ami

Movie Review: Bel Ami

On Friday I went to see Bel Ami. A new movie starring Robert Pattinson, finally in a completely different role than a sparkly vampire/ teennage heartthrob. At least that’s what I was hoping for. If you are curious about seeing Bel Ami and want to know what I thought, then keep on reading.

The movie is based on the short novel by Guy de Maupassant. Set (and written) in the late 19th century, the tale involves Georges Du Roy, the Bel Ami from the title. Georges is an unemployed soldier who has just arrived in Paris. His goal is to get ahead in life and when he meets his old friend Charles Forestier his luck changes quite rapidly. Charles has turned into a wealthy man and takes Georges under his wing. He invites him to dinner and it is here when Georges meets his future in the form of three ladies: Madeleine Forestier, Virginie Rousset, and Clotilde De Marelle. Georges learns that his way up isn’t by trying hard or making nice with the men, but by coaxing and making nice with the ladies. He literally screws his way up the social ladder and gets away with well everything.

That’s the story and that’s the story the movie tells you, only it has some limitations. I think it is great to finally see Rob Pattinson do something other than playing the Romantic Hero. Georges is anything but, at least in the book. In the movie, however: not so much. In the book I never had any reason to feel sorry for the guy, as he is cunning, clever and well down right mean at times. In the movie, he isn’t the one playing these women, but certainly Madeleine, also plays him. It isn’t until the very end of the movie, when Georges finally gets what he wants, that his big plan is revealed, whereas in the book, which is written from Georges perspective, you know of his intentions quite early on. This gives the storyline a twist which is not for the better.

In fact, I thought that the story in the movie was quite drab, as opposed to the novel, which I couldn’t put down. There is a definitive lull in the movie about half way through and it doesn’t get much better after that. It also feels as if the first half of the story is stretched out over 3/4 of the movie, and the ending was done quite hastily. I think, for someone who hasn’t read the book it may not even make sense in the first place. It’s too chopped up and the twist in the ending is too sudden. Where I ended the book with a slick smile on my face, the movie made me frown.

So all in all I didn’t like this movie very much. What I heard was that the directors tried to make this movie at least somewhat muted in order to sell it. Because it has Rob in it, best known for playing Edward in teenage franchise Twilight, they couldn’t make Georges the mean beast he really is. Unfortunately by cutting the menace from the story, they killed it. It was good to see Rob do something different for a change and the fact that the three leading ladies are all great actresses as well surely helps the movie. The sets are amazing, the costumes are amazing. The only thing not so much amazing is the story and the way in which it is told.


3 Movies I’ve seen and liked

3 Movies I’ve seen and liked

I am not much of a movie buff, but in the past couple of weeks I’ve watched a few movies that I really liked so I thought I’d share.

Tropic Thunder:

I am totally late watching this, but I had been meaning too ever since it came out. It’s about a bunch of drama queen actors who are shooting a movie about the Vietnam War. Through some circumstances they end up in the middle of nowhere. Before they know it they are under a real attack which they mistake for the movie. Some of them stay in denial, others realize what’s going on and that makes for some pretty hilarious moments. With an especially funny role from Robert Downing Jr who plays an Australian actor who’s playing an African American sergeant and a cameo by a nearly unrecognizable Tom Cruise. Other actors include: Jack Black, Ben Stiller and Matthew McConaughey. I usually dislike comedy, but this one definitely made for some entertainment.

Black Swan:

I most recently watched Black Swan. After having been to Swan Lake with my mom, we of course had to see this movie. I am glad I saw the actual ballet before seeing the movie. It made the movie make a lot more sense. Black Swan is a thriller about ballet dancer Nina (Natalie Portman) who strives for perfection. She is the perfect white swan, but has to dig deep to find the black swan inside of her. Eventually finds it, but at a very high cost. I found the movie quite predictable, yet the way Nina’s journey to find her Black Swan plays out is still very intriguing to watch.

Un Prophète:

A French movie. I don’t really watch a lot of French movies, but when it came out I read reviews about it and couldn’t help but want to see it. The story entails 6 years of the life of Malik. A young Arab man in France who ends up in jail. He very quickly finds out that in order to survive he will have to try to get on the good side of some key figures in the jail. Slowly but surely, Malik slowly rises amongst the prison’s ranks and gains the trust of the major gang leader of the prison. And that’s all I’m going to say as I would give away too much if I’d tell you more. Let’s just say that Malik is a very smart man. The movie is quite long (2.5 hours) but is a very accurate and telling depiction of prison life and the things these men do to get ahead. Not something you just watch and be entertained, but something that really makes you think.

Have you seen any of these? If yes, did you like them and why? If no, would you want to?

Movie Trailer: Bel Ami (w/ Rob Pattinson)

Movie Trailer: Bel Ami (w/ Rob Pattinson)

OMG! That was all I thought when I was aimlessly browsing some websites before going to bed last night. Every Rob fan in the world has been pining over Rob’s appearance at ComicCon to promote The Twilight’s Saga – Breaking Dawn Part 1 over the past few days. Since I seem to be the only person NOT excited about Breaking Dawn, I could care less about his atrocious hair cut (it was for a movie he just finished shooting) or the details on some of the more explicit scenes in BD. Now what really got my heartbeat going is this: The trailer for Rob’s latest movie Bel Ami.

Bel Ami is a movie based on Guy de Maupassant’s short novel of the same title. It’s about a soldier with no money who runs into an old, by now rich, friend on the streets of Paris. He is invited to a dinner party at his friend’s house, but he has no clue about high society. Quickly, he learns the ropes and starts seducing his friend’s wife as well as some of her friends. By using cunning deceit, seduction and charm, George DuRoy literally sleeps his way up the social ladder and in the end gets exactly what he wants.

If you haven’t read the book yet, I highly recommend you do so. It’s magnificent. That is, if you like dark, twisted characters like I do. Because George is anything BUT a nice guy and I’ve been pining to see Rob Pattinson play this character. It’s such a long stretch from stiff Edward in Twilight, or shy naive boys like Jacob in Water for Elephants. George is evil, cunning and driven by lust. I’m so curious to see how he pulls it off. If I’m to judge the trailer I think he actually will. Of course you cannot judge an actor’s performance solely on a trailer, but this surely got me more excited than the Breaking Dawn one.

So screw Breaking Dawn, I’m looking forward to Bel Ami. There is no release date out yet. Rumors state October 19th, but I’ve also heard December floating around. The only thing safe to guess is a release date some time at the end of this year. My winter just got a whole lot better.

Q: What movie are you looking forward to?

Movie: New York I Love You

Movie: New York I Love You

It’s been a while since I watched a movie and yesterday it suddenly hit me to watch one again. I decided to watch 2009’s New York I Love You.

The movie is a set of short clips/ scenes which together make up one movie. Many of the clips pertain different types of love story, all set in NYC. It is the city which ties all of the people and stories together, not the storyline. In fact, there is no storyline: each little snippet has its own story, which the occasional character being introduced earlier on in the movie, and sometimes different characters show up in different scenes, but together it does not add up to one story. To me, New York I Love You is a movie about how everyone has their own story within the vast city of New York and how minor coincidences and swift turns of events can make or break relationships.

There’s a petty thief robbing a man of his wallet and ending up taking away his girlfriend. There’s an old couple taking a walk on their 63rd wedding anniversary. There’s a father walking in Central Park with his daughter before handing her back to his ex-wife. There’s a young Yiddish bride fessing up her doubts about her marriage to an Indian diamond dealer. There’s the couple who meet again after a one night stand. There’s a writer trying to hit up a girl. There’s the painter and his subject of interest. And all this is tied together by a girl with a video camera.

The cast list is impressive and impressively long. The same goes for the directors: each snippet has its own script and director and different actors.

Some of the actors: Bradley Cooper, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, Andy Garcia, Rachel Bilson, Christina Ricci, Ethan Hawke, James Caan, Shia LaBeouf, John Hurt and Chris Cooper.

At first I found the movie quite confusing, as I didn’t know what to expect when I started watching it. I think this is a movie you’ll enjoy when you like NYC. It gives a good view of the city and the people who live their daily lives in it. If the first scene hadn’t had Andy Garcia, Rachel Bilson & Hayden Christensen in it, I wouldn’t have guessed it was actually a movie, but it felt and looked more like a documentary. The same goes pretty much for the entire movie. Most of the shorts in the movie depict very every day scenes and could easily be mistaken for an account of what life is like living in the City.

Blog Challenge Day 4: My favorite movie

Blog Challenge Day 4: My favorite movie

I actually already wrote about my favorite movie a little while ago, when I wrote a post about Into the Wild. In light of the challenge, I think it is only fair, however, that I do write a completely new post on another movie that really touched me. This movie would be Remember Me starring Robert Pattinson, Emily de Ravin, Chris Cooper and Pierce Brosnan in the lead roles.

I had a pretty hard time trying to think of another movie that I really liked besides Into the Wild, since I don’t watch a whole lot of movies. I find them way too time consuming. This movie, is in no means a big one, yet it is a heartbreaking and real story. Set in late spring/ early summer of 2001, Tyler (Pattinson) finds himself being against everything that life stands for: he has a strained relationship with his father (Brosnan), he doesn’t really go to school and works a job at a bookstore, while living in a shabby apartment with his friend Aidan in New York City. He often goes to a coffee shop to write to his brother, Michael, who committed suicide on his 22nd birthday. On a night out, he gets busted by a cop (Cooper) in every sense of the word. His friend Aidan then sees this cop dropping off his daughter at school: Ally (de Ravin). Aidan comes up with the brilliant idea for Tyler to hook up with Ally to get back at the cop. Yet, of course Tyler gets too involved with Ally and eventually falls in love with her. Then at the end of the story a very sad twist of fate ends the blossoming relationship despite the difficulties in both Tyler’s and Ally’s lives.

There are a few other story lines playing in the story, apart from the Tyler & Ally relationship, which I think works out tremendously well. It’s set in New York City, which is a plus for me, but the main reason why I like this movie so much is the score. The music is what makes this movie work.

So, if you haven’t seen it already, make sure you watch this sad, yet in the end hopeful story, about love, family, and relationships.

Watch the trailer: