Georges Duroy is a French non-commissioned officer (NCO) who has just spent three months serving in Algeria, in North Africa. He arrives back in Paris and begins working as a clerk for the next six months, soon becoming penniless. One night, Georges goes to a pub after work and runs into former comrade, Charles Forestier, who is now working as a journalist. After catching up, Forestier offers Georges a job at the publication where he works, which he accepts.
Georges starts off covering minor events, with the help of Forestier's wife, Madeleine. Georges soon becomes chief editor and starts writing leading articles for the newspaper. With Madeleine's connections, he soon becomes privy to behind the scenes information concerning politics.
When Forestier dies from deteriorating heath, Georges and Madeleine marry, with the former changing his surname to Du Roy. He is soon ridiculed by his co-workers, though and becomes frustrated with Madeleine. He pursues Virginie Walter, the wife of the newspaper's owner; Georges and Virginie soon embark on an affair without Madeleine knowing.
It soon transpires that Madeleine and Virginie are very powerful in 1890's Paris, with Georges manipulating them to boost his career of being one of the most powerful men in Paris. However, this is put in jeopardy when accusations of adultery start flying - adultery being a punishable crime in the city. Can Georges emerge from the scandal with his reputation intact, or will he fail to realise his dreams?
Bel Ami is based on the classic novel by Guy de Maupassant, which was released in 1885.
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Holliday Grainger, Natalia Tena, Colm Meaney, Philip Glenister and James Lance
Directed by: Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod
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