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Bel Ami [2012] [R] - 7.4.5



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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Based on the Guy de Maupassant classic, it is the story of journalist Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson) and his ambition to succeed in Paris. In order to gain success, he manipulates a number of wealthy Parisian women (Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci, Kristin Scott-Thomas and Natalia Tena) and confronts jealousy, love and hate. Also with Colm Meany. Directed by Declan Donnellan & Nick Ormerod. [1:42]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - In a dimly lit bar's upstairs bedroom we see a man having sex with a woman; his bare back and buttocks are shown as he thrusts rapidly, and we see her bare breasts as the couple bounces up and down on the bed, grunting.
 A man asks for sex from his unwilling wife, she kisses him and pushes him onto a couch, we see their heads and shoulders (clothed) as she raises her skirt and opens his pants below screen, she straddles him and thrusts very quickly, he shouts for her to slow down, but she goes faster causing him to grimace and grunt; when she stops and gets up, he shakes his head and asks if she is having an affair, but she does not answer (she is later charged with adultery. Please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 A man enters an apartment and finds his married girlfriend completely nude on a bed (we see her full bare breasts, arms, abdomen, one buttock, legs and feet) and we then see them both nude and having sex (the man thrusts fast enough to make the bed jump up and down; we see his bare back and buttocks).
 A man and his married girlfriend have sex; we see them in bed with him on top and from bare shoulders-up, kissing as he thrusts slowly and he says, "I thought you didn't want me anymore" and she replies, "I always want you."
 A man stands behind a woman's chair and runs his finger gently down her neck, the camera cuts to a scene of the couple in bed under sheets kissing with their bare shoulders and arms exposed, and the scene ends. A man has sex with three different women on alternating days; we see several scenes in which the man and the women begin to undress and the camera cuts to them re-dressing (sex is implied). A man enters a church and asks a married woman inside if they can start a sexual relationship, she hurries away, but he pursues her, she kisses him, slaps him in the face, gets into his carriage outside and sex is implied. A wife lies on her back on a bed, her husband looks down at her and the scene ends (sex is implied).
 In three bar scenes, a mezzanine above the bar is filled with female prostitutes wearing and knee length bloomers: one woman is nude from the waist-up and we see her bare breasts, cleavage is revealed on the other women and one woman's bare breast falls out of her open blouse and on the bar floor; prostitutes wear low-cut gowns that reveal significant cleavage. Can-can dancers chase men in a bar, waving their skirts as a kind of flirting. After having sex with his married girlfriend we see a man dressed in long-underwear pants and he is bare-chested, while she wears a nightgown that reveals bare arms and legs; he says that he does not have other women, she remarks, "All men have other women" and the scene ends. A woman at home wears low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage and she leans over toward the camera into a man's face several times, her breasts nearly falling out.
 A man seduces two married women, as suggested by a third married woman; the third woman tells him, "I have no interest in being your mistress. I will never be your mistress" and we learn that she already has a lover that visits weekly.
 A man takes a newspaper owner's 16-year-old daughter to an inn to separate bedrooms in order to start a rumor that they are having a sexual relationship and that the father will then force them to marry.
 A woman speaks to a man in a bar, he ignores her, she shouts that she is "not just a cheap [sexual expletive deleted]" and the man's married girlfriend slaps him in the face twice and walks out to end the scene.
 A man's married girlfriend attends his wedding to another young woman and they smile at one another longingly, as if nothing will change between them, implying continuing sex.
 A solicitor tells a wife and her husband that her guardian left her money in a will without mentioning her husband, that this will indicate to the world that she had a sexual relationship with her guardian and the woman admits that the man was her friend and lover as well, crying as the scene ends.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man visits several crowded bars, gets into fights with punching and kicking, and is thrown out into the street with a long red scratch on his nose.
 A man has a chronic cough that worsens throughout the film: he grabs another man that has come to visit his deathbed and coughs blood on the visitor's sleeve; the sick man is red-faced, sweaty, fidgety and breathing heavily, he becomes quiet, turns his head toward the camera, blood flows from his mouth to his shoulder and he dies.
 We see a man and a woman dressed in black as they crumble dirt over a coffin in a shallow grave; the camera cuts to the corpse laid on a bed at home, dressed in a tuxedo and his wife placing palm leaves all around the body while wearing a scarf tied over her nose and mouth (she walks out on the balcony and gasps as if it smelled bad in the room). We hear that a man died and we see a woman dressed in mourning attire; she cries loudly with racking sobs and groaning.
 On the street, a man argues with a woman, the camera cuts to them in a hotel room, where he squeezes her throat, knocks her to the ground and walks out (we see her hair disarranged but she is otherwise unharmed).
 A man shouts at two other men to leave his house and he throws wine glasses against a wall breaking them. A large flower vase is shown on the floor of a bedroom with flowers strewn everywhere as a man enters and argues with a woman.
 A woman shouts at her husband that their daughter cannot be married to a particular man, punching and slapping her spouse, her husband shouts back and the argument ends at the wedding of her daughter; the woman wears black mourning attire and a long black veil in protest of the wedding. Several male-female couples engage in loud arguments about fidelity and jealousy. A man and his married girlfriend argue throughout the film, both jealous of the other's sexual liaisons or marriages of convenience; she cries loudly several times and we see tears in his eyes twice. A newspaper editor argues with reporters and insults them, shouting that their work is no good and they call him a pompous idiot behind his back. Several men argue about France and the government's plans to invade and occupy Morocco; we then hear that this has happened and that the men will each make 70 million francs from the invasion. A man and his married girlfriend argue about his infidelity and their future in heaven; he replies that there is no afterlife and that love is not enough to keep one from suffering poverty and work that is too hard or exploitative and causes death.
 A dozen police break into a hotel room at night and find a married woman in the parlor and a man in bed (he is bare-chested) trying to put on a shirt; the police captain charges the woman with adultery and leaves.
 A man sits alone three times in a dark room in dirty, torn, disheveled clothing and we see that he is wearing only one shoe; the room is in bad repair, it is dirty with debris and we see a cockroach that he slams with a hard object several times.

PROFANITY 5 - About 3 F-words, 2 mild obscenities, exclamations (shut-up), name-calling (errand boy, embarrassment, pompous idiot, old, cheap, stupid, fool, greedy, selfish, brutal), stereotypical references to men, women, politics, relationships, adultery, journalists, government takeovers, class differences, 1 religious profanity, 1 religious exclamation. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Men and woman drink champagne in a restaurant, men and women drink wine and beer in a bar scene, half a dozen bar scenes feature glasses of wine and beer around the bar and bottles of liquor and wine on an island, men and women drink during three house parties, we see a huge bucket filled with ice and a dozen bottles of champagne at a house party, two dinner scenes show men and women drinking wine, we see a parlor and a bedroom that contain small bars with decanters of whiskey and wines, and a man and a woman drink wine. Men and women smoke cigarettes in a restaurant and the air is filled with smoke, several crowded bar scenes are filled with clouds of cigarette and cigar smoke and we see men smoking, many scenes in homes and at parties feature men and women smoking cigarettes and men smoking cigars, and men smoke around a work table and at a card game in a newspaper office and these areas are smoky.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Poverty, ambition, success, politics, relationships, marriage, fidelity, honesty, revenge, illness and death.

MESSAGE - Love is not enough to keep one from starving.

Special Keywords: S7 - V4 - P5 - MPAAR

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