Because this post concerns two movies, I've split it in two. This being the Internet, this first part will end up being listed below the second half. Weird, eh?
Anyway, here goes:
If you pay attention to entertainment news, you’ll likely know that Robert Pattinson had his heart “broken” by Kristen Stewart, his “Twilight” co-star. According to those who keep track of such things, the two supposedly had been a couple.
But when she had a dalliance with a movie director, Pattinson was left bereft.
To paraphrase the great Vonnegut in only a slightly cynical manner, so it goes.
Whatever the truth of the matter, I think I’ve discovered the real reason for his sadness, and her Trojan Women-style mea culpas. It has nothing at all to do with their so-called relationship but more to do with a pair of movies that the two have made since all the “Twilight” madness began.
Movies that likely signal whether each, or either, will have a post-vampire career.
My wife and I saw both these movies here in Sao Paulo, in a mall cinema that sits on Avenida Paulista. And, yes, we could have been out, exploring this grand city and all it various sites. But … well, we hadn’t seen any movies in more than a week. And unlike in Italy, the English-language movies here aren’t dubbed but carry Portuguese subtitles. So …
Anyway, Pattinson’s movie is titled “Bel Ami.” As those of you who saw it when it played recently at the Magic Lantern know, the film is based on a Guy de Maupassant novel. It tells the story of a penniless young ex-soldier (Pattinson), alone and desolate in 1890 Paris, who chances onto a job at a newspaper.
Then, because of his good looks, he seduces his way to success – through a bevy of women played by such actresses as Uma Thurman, Kristen Scott-Thomas and Christina Ricci.
The story involves much more, of course. Our protagonist isn’t particularly smart, so he gets taken advantage of, and he makes out in the end only because of his ardent sexuality and inherent animalistic skills. And, of course, the story tries to make a point or two about class structure and politics and gender relations, etc. Plus no one ends up particularly happy.
In the end, however, the movie is too tied to the era from which it sprang to offer any real surprises. Instead, it plays out like a museum exhibit of unsurprising century-old attitudes.
And Pattinson? Well, the guy sure has a sweet smile. But not a whole lot more.