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Bel Ami Review

Movies.com Critics

1.5

Dave White Profile

With amis like this... Read full review

1.0

Grae Drake Profile

Not-dangerous-at-all Liaisons Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    42

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    A flavorless literary adaptation sunk by a lead actor, screenwriter and co-directors that are all out of their depth.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    At least the set design and costumes are excellent. The movie feels overstuffed and undercooked but it always looks nice.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The surprise for me is Christina Ricci, who I think of as undernourished and nervous, but who flowers here in warm ripeness.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Bel Ami reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

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.

  • 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?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Bel Ami is filled with negative messages about class, fortune, marriage, and sexual relationships. The over-arching theme is that people born into money take it for granted, and those who have to work for their pennies (or francs as the case may be) will stop at nothing to keep their riches.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The women in the movie come off far better than the men. Clotilde, although in an unhappy marriage, is a loving mother and selfless in her interactions with Georges. She truly loves him despite his many flaws. Madeleine is a progressive intellectual who believes in women's equality. As for the Rousset ladies, they're very naive and easily swayed by Georges' charm. And Georges himself is a scoundrel who chooses money over love and friendship.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Georges gets into a fight at a brothel/gambling hall, and one man dies from consumption in a bloody manner.

  • sex false5

    Sex: From the opening sequence, when Georges flirts with and eventually solicits a prostitute, Bel Ami is highly sexual. Nudity includes breasts, backs, butts, and basically everything except full-frontal genitalia shots. There are more than a half-dozen sex scenes, which range from semi-clothed romps to explicit depictions of lovemaking. Georges is a 19th-century gigolo and is depicted as irresistible to the wealthy women in Madeleine's social circle.

  • language false3

    Language: One "f--k," plus insults like "whore," "idiot," and other derogatory terms.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Several characters smoke cigarettes (accurate for the era), and there's a lot of drinking at the brothel and at every social gathering.

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