9 items from 2012
The rock star Peter Doherty makes an inauspicious debut in this English-speaking French movie based on Alfred de Musset's semi-autobiographical novel of 1836 that was partly inspired by his affair with George Sand. He plays Octave, an aristocratic product of the Romantic era who turns from devoted lover to libertine on discovering his mistress's infidelity. But after agreeing with a cynical friend that love is an illusion, he embarks on a lengthy attempted seduction of the widowed Brigitte (Charlotte Gainsbourg) in the misty, melancholic countryside. His demeanour is more languorous than lecherous, and after much tedious talk they eventually become lovers, though no sparks of passion fly to ignite the hot air. Under the direction of a film-maker who speaks little English, Doherty and Gainsbourg give flat performances, their speech uninflected, their line readings uncertain.
DramaPete DohertyCharlotte GainsbourgPhilip French
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- Philip French
Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2′s fortnight long stint at the top of the box office chart has come to an abrupt end. What big new smash hit has knocked the Vamps off top spot? I hear you cry. A little known spy flick known as Skyfall of course. Yes, after six weeks on release, Bond moves back up to the top of the pile in the very same week where it surpassed Avatar to become the highest grossing film at the UK Box Office of all time.
I don’t think anybody foresaw it being quite this succesful and hats really do need to go off to Sam Mendes and everyone involved for such an impressive feat. Skyfall has currently taken £94.28 million and you wouldn’t put it past it to be the first film to break the £100million barrier in UK cinemas. Breaking Dawn Part 2 meanwhile, despite a hefty »
- Rob Keeling
Every year, a select batch of films are chosen for the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, and they all come with wide-eyed hopes and dreams. But once the red carpet is rolled up, there are always a few pictures that disappear, left to the arthouse dustbin of time. "Confession Of A Child Of Century," an autobiographical tale by Alfred de Musset that tells of his affair with George Sand (the pseudonym of Baroness Amandine Aurore Lucile Dupin), appears to fall into the latter category. The film stars U.K.'s favourite drug addicted, once kinda-famous, now-washed-out musician Pete Doherty, who makes his acting debut alongside Charlotte Gainsbourg. Doherty takes the lead of Octavian, who narrates the story, while Gainsbourg takes the role of Brigitte, a young widow with whom he also has a dalliance. The film is directed by Sylvie Verheyde, a name not so well known on this side of the pond, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
It's not exactly like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs. It's more like seeing one of those dogs on the TV show That's Life! that could say "sausages". Only instead of saying "sausages", it's saying, "You understand, madam, that I am the greatest libertine in all Paris!" while wearing a top hat. Pete Doherty tries his absolute best, and in some ways isn't every bit as terrible as you might think. There's a poster quote for you. Yet any lenient bemusement vanishes on imagining the reaction of someone who had no idea who Doherty is: "Hey, who was that terrible actor playing the lead guy, the one who describes himself as a 'libertine'? Why on earth did they cast him?"
Well, the legendary singing star and Olympic-standard caner stars in this leaden period drama, »
- Peter Bradshaw
★☆☆☆☆ Adapted from Alfred de Musset's 1836 autobiographical novel of the same name and premiered at Cannes, Sylvie Verheyde's Confession of a Child of the Century (2012) sees the acting debut of former Libertine Pete Doherty, who joins a long line of successful musicians and pop stars who have become truly awful actors. Mid-19th century France: the Revolution, with its exhilaration and terror, has been and gone, whilst Napoleonic conquest and defeat are likewise receding into history. Octave (Doherty) feels he has missed his moment, belonging to a generation brought up for war, at a time when all wars have been fought.
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- CineVue UK
After enjoying four years as a cult hero in France, the former Libertine is still battling with addiction and unable – or unwilling – to escape his notorious past
In a Paris attic apartment decorated like a 19th-century dandy's den, a rottweiler snores on a velvet couch and dozens of candles give out a half-light. Pete Doherty kicks an apple core round the living room rug and chats in broken French to a friend on his cracked iPhone. Balzac novels are stacked high on the window ledge.
This is Paris Pete, the rocker who now sings solo as Peter Doherty, writes poetry, paints and has made his debut as a French arthouse-cinema actor. For years, the Libertines and Babyshambles frontman was London's most notorious rock-star addict. The baby-faced, sallow-skinned, tabloid whipping-boy was kicked out of his first band, served three stints in prison for drug possession and breaking into bandmate Carl Barat's home, »
- Angelique Chrisafis
The Babyshambles frontman's acting debut as a 19th-century roué has been panned by critics as 'catastrophic'. Not that he seems to mind
A rainy afternoon on the Riviera and Pete Doherty is nursing a beer. The beach is feet away, but he is preternaturally pale, and entirely in black – exactly as he is in Confession of a Child of the Century, an experimental arthouse drama about a world-weary 19th-century roué. "There were parts of his character that I didn't really have to try too hard with," Doherty says with a smile. "The loucheness, wistfulness, arrogance."
If he is aware of the critical response to the film, which competes in Cannes' Un Certain Regard section, Doherty is not letting on. The reviews have been overwhelmingly negative, with Doherty's own performance deemed "catastrophic" and "calamitous". This seems unfair. In his own dreamy, minimalist way, Doherty portrays a flâneur effectively enough. He says »
- Geoffrey Macnab
Pete Doherty's performance as a philosophising dandy is as catastrophic as the rest of this insufferable film
There is a long and noble British tradition of musicians becoming absolutely godawful actors. Gary Kemp gave it his best shot; Sting outdid himself. Pete Doherty, however, breaks the mould. His performance as a shambling yet sensitive libertine (geddit?) in Sylvie Verheyde's adaptation of the Alfred de Musset novel is catastrophic. Still, that does mean it's tonally of a piece with the rest of the film.
Face as pasty as porridge, feathered Hoxton hairdo intact, Doherty plays an inexplicably minted dandy whose hobbies include super-intense philosophical debate and orgies. After he breaks up with Lily Cole, who has been playing footsie with a male friend (apparently more of a deal-breaker in a debauched society than you might imagine), he has a chance encounter with Charlotte Gainsbourg and a baby goat in a wood. »
- Catherine Shoard
British rocker Pete Doherty's debut role on the big screen has divided critics at the Cannes Film Festival.
But The Libertines star's acting skills in his first movie outing have drawn a mixed reaction from critics.
A reviewer for the BBC insisted Doherty's "personality or charm" has been "sucked out of him" by the director, adding, "It is difficult to recall a less charismatic lead performance in any other film. However, to suggest it is completely Doherty's fault would do him a disservice."
A Screen Daily critic branded Doherty's role a "calamitous miscasting", blasted his "mumbled lines" and "wooden performance", and said the rocker wears a "permanently bored expression" and "looks like he'd rather be somewhere else" for much of the movie.
And a review on Cine-Vue.com concludes, "Doherty, like a sixth former (student) who hasn't learnt his lines for drama class, fidgets throughout Confession of a Child of the Century and seems constantly surprised when it is his cue."
However, The Independent writer Geoffrey Macnab insists Doherty was "perfectly cast" and "projects an air of decadence and debauchery". He adds that the Brit is "playing a 19th century version of himself" and praises his performances as "understated, sardonic (but with) a vulnerability that stops him from seeming (too) obnoxious."
A reviewer for Britain's Evening Standard adds, "He tries hard, and there are moments which work." »
9 items from 2012
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