Box art for Bel Ami

Bel Ami

  • Rated R
  • HD and SD formats available

independent, special interest


An erotically charged drama about a charming and manipulative journalist's corrupt rise to power by seducing a series of powerful and wealthy mistresses; starring Robert Pattinson, Christina Ricci, and Uma Thurman.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    28%
  • Audience Score
    29%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Sex
5 out of 5
Violence
2 out of 5

Robert Pattinson is bland in sex-filled costume drama.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Twilight star Robert Pattinson further distances himself from the relatively wholesome role of Edward in Bel Ami, a strongly sexual period drama about a social climber who charms and seduces several upper-class women to live a life of luxury. There are many passionate sex scenes, several of which involve nudity (breasts and buttocks are visible). Language includes one "f--k," as well as insults about a character's humble background. Violence is relatively mild, but there's one fist fight and one disturbing scene when a man bloodily succumbs to consumption. Bel Ami isn't a film with positive messages or role models, but it could provoke interesting conversations about class, power, and sex.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Bel Ami's issues of class and gender. How were they the two determining factors to a person's prospects in 19th-century French society?
  • Pattinson has a worldwide following for playing a particular character. Is it difficult to see him in such a different role?
  • Parents and teens can discuss how the movie depicts marriage. Was any couple in the movie happily married? Do you think adultery was dealt with too casually?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    28%
    reviews counted: 20
    see all Bel Ami reviews
  • Audience

    29%

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: The results aren't ribald or provocative or particularly exciting in any way; it's just a slog that will appeal mainly to enthusiasts of 19th-century undergarments.

- Alonso Duralde, The Wrap, Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fresh: An enjoyably soapy 19th-century costume drama with a crackling, female-centric cast that features Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci and Kristin Scott Thomas.

- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com, Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rotten: The supposedly cunning protagonist registers as a cipher, and the directors' tendency to shoot dialogue scenes in close-up blunts any understanding of the social milieu he's trying to conquer.

- Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, Thursday, June 21, 2012

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Started off slow, but really was worth sticking with. I am not a fan of period movies in general, but was interested to see Robert Pattinson in something other than Twilight movies. Also quite like Christina Ricci. This is a really well acted movie. Robert is quite convincing and you do see that all is not smiles as he seems to be on the surface. The women are also well written and convincing. The sex scene with him and Uma is quite brutal in an unexpected way. Actually hard to watch even though nothing is really shown. Quite a dark little movie.

- romy861, Sunday, December 2, 2012

4 stars

Started off slow, but really was worth sticking with. I am not a fan of period movies in general, but was interested to see Robert Pattinson in something other than Twilight movies. Also quite like Christina Ricci. This is a really well acted movie. Robert is quite convincing and you do see that all is not smiles as he seems to be on the surface. The women are also well written and convincing. The sex scene with him and Uma is quite brutal in an unexpected way. Actually hard to watch even though nothing is really shown. Quite a dark little movie.

- romy861, Sunday, December 2, 2012

2 stars

Possessed by love. Consumed by desire. Not so great of a movie! The choice of Robert Pattinson as the hero, or antihero of Guy de Maupassant's novel is probably the main reason for the overall failure of the movie adaptation. Missing the artistic maturity necessary to sustain the depth of a complex character, he seems to feel uncomfortable in his role, and whereas at the beginning his pale, embarrassed face and posture may be suitable for the part of a former poor soldier entering the glittering world of high society, once he is part of it, those same face and posture reveal his true feeling ill at ease in what is a totally unsuitable role for him. That's why the story, centred on his figure, develops in a boring, pedantic way, showing no punch and no real pathos, in search for a bounce that never comes. Nothing to say against the brilliant female performances,the frivolous Christina Ricci is the only one who enlivens the pale and inexpressive face of Georges, but Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas compete for the best performance, the first perfect in the role of the ambiguous Madeleine, and the latter courageous in her role of an ageing married woman, losing her mind for a young lover, and the last scene with her dressed in black at her daughter's marriage to Georges proves the only vivid moment within the whole picture. Georges Duroy is a penniless soldier returning from war. He travels to Paris in a search for ways to improve his social and financial status. He uses his wit and powers of seduction to charm wealthy women.

- MANUGINO, Tuesday, November 27, 2012