Kristen Stewart loves Robert Pattinson. So do Twihards everywhere. Film critics, not so much. In fact, they downright hated him in Bel Ami. The Breaking Dawn heart throb’s latest non-Twilight Saga performance is receiving scathing reviews. Hopefully, Kristen Stewart will be there to hold his hand and give him lots of tea and sympathy when he reads them.
“Pattinson himself is a problem…” complained the Indie Wire. “He displays the character’s ruthlessness adequately and his wolfish smile is a useful weapon in this regard. But he seems ill-at-ease in…playing a period role. It’s not that he’s a bad actor, but he looks very much a contemporary young man in a historical context; his body language is too casual and informal for the social circles in which Duroy makes his moves.”
Well, at least they were kind enough to avoid calling Rob a bad actor, and not every good actor can be good in every genre. Other critics were a bit more harsh. The British film magazine Sight and Sound complained about Bel Ami‘s director’s unfortunate penchant for overly lengthy, cloying facial close-ups. Fair enough. But then, they singled Rob out for criticism.
“…the directors’ over indulgence in facial close-ups,” opines the review, “…does Robert Pattinson as Bel Ami no favours, since in close up his face tends to lapse into the bovine…”
Robert Pattinson’s faceÂ—bovine? Are these critics visually impaired? Of course, the reviewers went on to say that when Rob was filmed from further away, he managed to give an “alert amusedly insinuating performance.” That was big of them.
One of the worst Bel Ami reviews was the Berlinale 2012 review which sometimes seemed just plain mean.
“We were really trying to like him in the role for a long time,” it liedÂ—erÂ—read, “but eventually his twitchiness, which seems like a factor of inexperience and nervousness, unites with script and characterisation problems to alienate us from his role in a way that has nothing to do with the character’s nastiness. It is as though Pattinson hasn’t yet gained the confidence on camera to do less, and so in his many closeups there is always one too many things going onÂ—the nostril flare coupled with the eye twitch along with the twist of the mouth becomes an overwhelming cavalcade of tics when your face is thirty feet high.”
Ouch. Poor RPattz. Oh well, no one can please all the people all the time. Of course, the nagging question that comes most immediately to mind is: Would the critics have responded to Rob’s performance so harshly if his overwhelming fame had not been based on his success as a Twilight “teen idol”? Could their responses be the result presupposition and prejudices? Or are they just jealous?
What do you think?
Â© Hope Carson 2012
Hope Carson is the author of 2 books: A Roaring Girl: An Interview with the Thinking Man’s Hooker and A Thousand and One Night Stands: The Life of Jon Vincent. You can follow her on Twitter.