By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com December 22, 2011 at 8:59AM
The next twelve months will be something of a pivot point for Robert Pattinson, as by this time next year, the "Twilight" series, which made his name, will be over, and the risk of him becoming a vampiric version of Mark Hamill -- never able to escape the shadow of his mega franchise -- will start to come up; while he's had a few modest successes, none have been massive, or particularly critically acclaimed. But the actor is clearly taking advice from the right people, with two indie films on the way with some pretty high pedigree, the second of which, David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" is one of our most anticipated films of 2012.
But first up is "Bel Ami," a period drama that adapts Guy de Maupassant's novel of power, class and sexuality, in which the actor leads a cast including Kristin Scott-Thomas, Uma Thurman, and Christina Ricci. The film was shot eighteen months or so ago, but word has been pretty quiet on the film -- until now, that is, with U.K. distributors StudioCanal releasing a trailer over at MSN.
And, while we're not 100% convinced yet, and it'll clearly depend on your tolerance for costume drama, things aren't looking too bad. Pattinson plays Georges Duroy, a penniless soldier who uses a string of mistresses to make his way through upper crust society in late 19th century Paris. It all looks appropriately handsome, relatively faithful to the source material (albeit perhaps playing up the melodrama a little, which may just be the advertising), and the performances look pretty decent, particularly from Pattinson, who seems to have found a showcase that shows him off as more than a sparkly pale guy.
Like we say, we need a little more to feel totally confident on this, but with Declan Donnelan and Nick Ormerod, the men behind legendary British theater company Cheek By Jowl, making their film debuts on the project, there's reason to think it'll be more worthwhile than, say, "Cheri." The film doesn't yet have a release date in the U.S, but StudioCanal will put it in theaters on March 2nd in the U.K. Is it crazy to wonder if the film might be an addition to the Berlin Film Festival line-up in February before then? It'd certainly make sense.