Riding across Manhattan in a stretch limo in order to get a haircut, a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager's day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.
Georges Duroy is a penniless soldier returning from war. He travels to Paris in a search for ways to improve his social and financial status. He uses his wit and powers of seduction to charm wealthy women. Written by
I was fully surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. I love the book, so was sure I'd be disappointed by the movie, which is typically the case. I was also skeptical of the casting, particularly of the lead role. But even so, I couldn't NOT see it.
I soon found myself completely taken in, watching the vision in my head (from reading the book) come to life on screen. The wardrobe and sets and music and lighting were rich and beautiful. The pace was excellent and kept me engaged every minute - the time just flew by.
I was also completely won over by the casting, including Pattinson in the lead role, which was probably the biggest surprise. Not only did he manage to hold his own in the role and with a far more experienced cast, he completely nailed George Duvoy. This required him to convey a depth and range of nuanced emotions and intentions through expression and tone and manner as well as interpretation of script. Kudos must go to the director as well.
Some of the criticisms of the story or of the Duvoy character are mistakenly pinned on the actor's performance, when what they are really reacting to is actually how the character is depicted in the book. That's an argument for the author, not the actor or director. So I have to assume they haven't read the book or would not like it if they did. And certainly there are a lot of people who just can't be objective about Pattinson because of a strong need to belittle his teen idle celebrity and association with the tweenage-targeted Twilight films.
I do think the movie is probably more enjoyable for those who have read the book and can, therefore, connect the dots and fill the gaps that a movie just doesn't have time to do - but that's true of any movie that tries to stay true to the book.
I highly recommend the movie (and the book) to anyone who loves period dramas with great characters. It is beautifully done.
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