CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: Robert Pattinson Drains Life From Misguided ‘Bel Ami’
CHICAGO – Robert Pattinson is such a divisive actor. While he’s clearly one of the most popular young stars in the world thanks to his work in the “Twilight” films, he has yet to prove to most people that he can really act. While some who have seen David Cronenberg’s upcoming “Cosmopolis” claim that this will be the film that finally allows Pattinson to break out of the franchise that has defined him, we’re stuck with something far lesser for now, the misguided and depressing “Bel Ami,” a film that does nothing to help the critical reputation of the man otherwise known as Edward Cullen.
The problem is that I somehow want to defend Pattinson. I think there’s something there. Cronenberg is one of the smartest men in filmmaking and he saw something in this brooding young actor. And so what’s the defense for this mess? He was in over his head and was miscast from the beginning. It’s not his fault that he got thrown into the deep end with more talented swimmers and drowns in this misguided costume drama.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Bel Ami” in our reviews section.|
“Bel Ami,” based on Guy de Maupassant’s second novel, is a tale that requires a charismatic, fascinating lead. And Pattinson doesn’t work as the manipulative cad that this story demands. It doesn’t help that his character arc requires him to not only seduce but get emotionally entangled with truly charismatic actors like Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Christina Ricci. It’s hard to believe any of them would give Pattinson a second glance.
Photo credit: Magnolia Pictures