Armed with good looks and devastating charm, manipulative journalist Georges Duroy climbs from the depths of poverty to the height of Parisian society, taking up with a variety of beautiful women along the way. Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod direct this erotically charged period drama based on the classic novel by French writer Guy de Maupassant.
Armed with good looks and a smirk — so we know he’s up to no good — a young impoverished man with mediocre intelligence and talent ingratiates himself with the wives of the rich and powerful in Paris society. Driven by greed, he sleeps* his way to the top.
Robert Pattinson as Georges Duroy
Who’s NOT in this movie, is the better question! Sadly, the powerhouse supporting cast was not enough to save it.
He tried, he really did. It was obvious by ALL OF THE FACIAL EXPRESSIONS. However, this performance will not be the career-defining moment that will forever wipe people’s minds clean of Twilight. (Now Cosmopolis was a little more like it. But this is not about that movie.)
Uma Thurman as Madeleine Forestier
The VERY BEST thing about this movie was Uma Thurman’s French accent when she pronounced ‘Georges’. Sadly, that’s not saying much.
Christina Ricci as Clotilde de Marelle
Oh look! It’s scarily skinny Christina Ricci! She has starred in so many things! Like every boy I dated in the ’90s sexual fantasies! Ms. Ricci actually was the, er, heart of this movie? I guess?
Colm Meaney as Monsieur Rousset
And there’s Colm Meaney! Who
phoned in, sleepwalked through, barely showed up for his performance. Seriously. I think he was the only actor in this film that saw it for the dreck it was, and didn’t even try.
Kristin Scott Thomas as Virginie Rousset
And then there’s Kristen Scott Thomas, who flailed and shook and was otherwise ineffective.
Holliday Grainger as Suzanne
And this picture of Holliday Grainger. Just look at this picture, and you don’t have to watch her performance! Because they let her do so little, I’m not even sure why she was in it.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Low
I watched this one with George, and we were both left with underwhelming feelings of ‘meh’. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t bad enough to be enjoyable, either.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: High
Perhaps another problem I had when watching was that I was stone cold sober. I can’t really imagine that being inebriated would make the experience any better, but it couldn’t hurt, could it?
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Not So Good
It’s hard to say, really, what was wrong with this movie. I haven’t read the Guy de Maupassant novel on which it was based, so perhaps the choppy story telling and flat characters are the fault of the author. Or perhaps it was the fault of the directors, Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod that there was no chemistry between any of the actors, and the sex scenes were just… uncomfortable. Or perhaps it’s the fact that watching my dog and kitten cuddling was far more captivating. We may never know, but ultimately, regrettably, this was 102 minutes of my life that I’m never going to get back.