The clip opens in a boudoir with the mostly naked and slightly disheveled Clotilde de Marelle (Christina Ricci) lying in bed, post-tryst, posing a question to her equally scantily clad lover, Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson). Duroy is a self-made man of sorts, who uses his wits and powers of seduction to rise from poverty to wealth, from a prostitute’s embrace to passionate trysts with wealthy beauties in 19th-century Paris, where politics and media jostle for influence and where sex is power and celebrity an obsession.
“What are you reading?” de Marelle asks Duroy.
“It’s a letter from my father. Every week he puts on his best suit and goes to the priest and the priest writes a letter for him,” Duroy reveals as he gets back into bed. “And every week it’s the same thing: ‘Your mother sends her blessings. [The] pigs have diarrhea, when are you getting married?’ My father’s a peasant, he’s never left his village. And he’s asking me for money.”
“I’d like to see where you grew up,” says de Marelle, who appears to be a young lady of the upper class.
“I’d like to see you there,” Duroy says intimately before locking lips with de Marelle.
“Promise me something,” she requests. “Don’t bring your other women here.”
“I don’t have other women,” he counters.
“All men have other women,” de Marelle says, which Duroy refutes and the lady reacts incredulously.
“Honestly?” she says.
“Honestly and truly,” he answers.
Despite the sweetness and sincerity captured in this particular scene, Pattinson has teased that his character gets himself involved with a variety of female paramours. More importantly, in addition to his being shirtless in a lot of scenes, there’s also a lot of his bare bottom in the film.
“I think there’s a lot of my crack in it,” he laughed when describing the film to MTV news. “I think there’s quite a bit of nudity.”
“Bel Ami” opens in Los Angeles, New York and select cites on June 8. The film will be available on VOD on May 4.