The Bel Ami movie trailer was released a week ago. Now comes the Brazilian Bel Ami trailer (scroll down), which happens to be the (classy) English-language trailer with Portuguese subtitles. The text below is an expanded version of the article posted at the time of the original trailer’s release.
In the trailer, we get to watch Robert Pattinson play a radically different character from his lovestruck vampire in the Twilight movies. Instead of having sex with Breaking Dawn’s virginal Kristen Stewart, in Bel Ami Pattinson keeps himself busy with the more mature Kristin Scott Thomas and a whole array of other females of varying ages, shapes, and civil and social statuses.
Two veterans of the British stage, Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, directed this latest film adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s novel about Georges Duroy, an impoverished but ambitious ex-soldier who uses his drive, his wit, and his penis not only to climb the social ladder, but also to live life to the fullest — in his way. (Future Oscar winner George Sanders played Duroy in a 1947 Hollywood movie, The Private Affairs of Bel Ami. Angela Lansbury, Ann Dvorak, and Frances Dee co-starred. The Picture of Dorian Gray’s Albert Lewin directed.)
Now, some will call Bel Ami’s anti-hero a “man-whore,” but that’s sheer envy. To some extent or another, men must sell their wares — whatever little or much they’ve got — in every profession. Only the self-deluded will believe otherwise. But while laboring away, how many get to bed, kiss, and (fore)play with the likes of Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci, and Uma Thurman? And how many of them look like Robert Pattinson to begin with?
Also worth noting is that some have been quick to compare Bel Ami to Stephen Frears‘ 2009 critical and box-office flop Chéri, about an affair between a courtesan (Michelle Pfeiffer) and a younger man (Rupert Friend). Those comparisons, however, are off the mark. Although it’s true that both Bel Ami and Chéri are period pieces based on classic French novels (Chéri was written by Colette), Friend’s Chéri character is quite different from Pattinson’s Georges Duroy. And so are the basic plotlines of the two stories.
In fact, Bel Ami has more in common with Choderlos de Laclos‘ Dangerous Liaisons, a Frears/Pfeiffer 1988 hit that earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination, in addition to nods for Pfeiffer and Glenn Close. Bel Ami also has quite a bit in common with the very 20th-century Chicago (especially Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 silent version with Phyllis Haver) and Baby Face — the latter a 1933 pre-Code classic in which Barbara Stanwyck uses her drive, her wit, her legs, and her other physical attributes to reach the top of the corporate ladder.
Adapted by Rachel Bennette, the R-rated Bel Ami also features Colm Meaney, Natalie Tena, Holliday Grainger, Pip Torrens, James Lance, and Todd Peterson. Bel Ami is scheduled to open on March 2 in the UK and June 27 in France. No scheduled dates as yet for the United States, though there have been rumors that Sony Pictures will release Bel Ami sometime in March. Another rumor has the film playing at the Berlin Film Festival in February.
Also, on January 2 and 3, Belgium’s Kinepolis chain will feature sneak previews of Bel Ami at several theaters in Antwerp, Bruges, and a handful of other cities. Those are part of Kinepolis‘ "Ladies at the Movies" screenings — described as "an evening without men but with a top film." Unfair to male Pattinson, de Maupassant, Scott Thomas, Thurman, and/or Ricci fans.
As for the trailer below, Portuguese speakers might want to brush up on their English, as the subtitles frequently read pompously "literate" in a manner that doesn’t match the characters’ more colloquial speech. California Filmes will be releasing Bel Ami in Brazil.
The best line in the trailer comes courtesy of Pattinson’s Georges Duroy: “There’s no next life. And I’m going to live.” Once again, that’s why so many are envious of characters such as Duroy. Despite our paying lip-service to bourgeois morality and personal codes of ethics, most of us would like to live his life — but lack the guts and/or the apparatus to do so.