Follow TV Tropes


Film / Bel Ami

Go To

Bel Ami is a 2012 drama film directed by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod and starring Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci, Colm Meaney and Holliday Grainger. It is based on the 1885 French novel Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant.

The story centers on Georges Duroy (Pattinson), a financially (and morally) bankrupt swindler who plots his rise in Parisian society by seducing a series of rich and powerful women.

Not to be confused with the gay porn studio, which was also named after the novel.

This film features examples of:

  • Comforting the Widow: As soon as Georges's friend Charles dies, he puts the moves on his wife Madelaine.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Georges refuses to actually have sex with the underage Suzanne, despite every appearance of her being willing, and sleeps in a separate room. Granted, he doesn't need to for his plans; she and him staying at the same lodgings together is damaging enough to her reputation that her family has no choice but to agree to an arranged marriage, but this is probably the only time in the film he restrains himself for genuinely moral reasons.
  • Freudian Excuse: When called out for his cruelty and ruthlessness, Georges gives a softly-spoken Motive Rant about his starving childhood, and how those who have never known real hunger can't understand the desperation he feels to protect himself against returning to that state by any means necessary.
  • The Hedonist: It's implied that Clotilde is this, and that it is the reason why she's so drawn to Georges.
    Georges Duroy: [to Clotilde] What do you enjoy?
    Clotilde: Everything...
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Clotilde and Madeleine wear corsets in several scenes. Madeleine has sex with Georges in one scene while wearing her pink satin corset, and Georges laces Clotilde into her powder-blue corset after a tryst.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Georges seduces Virginie, but soon tires of her because she becomes too smitten to him, to the point of being cloying.