We’re only a few days into the New Year, but already the catwalks are abuzz with chatter about the upcoming year. One of the biggest talking points is Robert Pattinson’s upcoming film, Belle. Based on the fantastic novel The Rover by Jeannette Winterson, this dark fantasy is shaping up to be a real tearjerker. But does the world need more tearjerkers in 2020?
There are plenty of amazing things to say about the latest WOW star. For starters, he’s one of the sweetest, most gentle souls we’ve ever encountered. Second, he’s a really good actor. You may have seen him in Twilight or Panic or Revenge, or maybe even The Lighthouse. So it may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that he’s actually turned down more acting jobs than he’s taken on. Finally, it’s been 10 long years since we’ve seen any new films from him. Does that mean he’s running out of steam? Or is there something deeper going on?
Let’s look at the facts. While touring for The Rover, he was offered a small role in Quentin Tarantulinig’s Bumblebee, but turned it down. Tarantulinig then offered him a key role in the upcoming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but again, he passed. After that, the roles just kept on coming in. First, he was in Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York (2019), and then he signed on for Belle. Since we know so little about the film, let’s dive right in.
The Role Of Belle
Based on the synopsis, let’s just say that Belle is a special horse that helps an injured soldier on the road to recovery. When the soldier finally gets up and walking again, he realizes that he has feelings for Belle, who returns his love. Naturally, this makes him the target of the villains, who want to take Belle for themselves. So he starts a journey to save her, which eventually leads him to an adventure that unites him with others, including a mysterious woman who may or may not be a villainess herself.
What does that sound like to you? A simple story, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. You see, this is a Jeannette Winterson adaptation, which means there are going to be some major surprises. We know that Jeannette has a connection to horses, so it’s only natural that one of her characters would be named after a beloved animal. However, the biggest twist is that Belle is actually a robot.
What? A horse-robot? Did we really need an origin story that involved technology? It’s a bold choice that makes complete sense once you know about it. The novel is considered one of the great cult novels of all time, and for good reason. It’s an incredibly dark story that examines relationships, sexuality, and the nature of love. Plus, it tackles some heavy topics like disability and mortality head-on. So it’s no wonder that the filmmakers wanted to take this beloved book and give it the grandiose cinematic treatment it deserves.
The Trailer, Or, Why You Should Watch It
The trailer for Belle offers up some incredible imagery, creating an atmosphere of dread and unease. It opens with a shot of a horse walking into the sunset… Then the camera cuts to a shot of the same horse, but from a different direction… And from there, it cuts to black. It is a beautiful image, evoking the loneliness and melancholy that permeates the entire story. It also gives you a good idea of what to expect. If you’re a fan of The Rover, then this will undoubtedly be a treat. But for others, it may come as a bit of a curveball. Since the source material is so dark, you may find that it isn’t the sort of story you’re expecting from Robert Pattinson. And that’s okay, because it’s a story that deserves to be told.
An Actor’s Actor
As mentioned, Robert Pattinson is an incredibly talented actor. He is completely devoid of any trace of a Hollywood accent, despite having been heavily integrated into American culture. He has a way with animals, too. Remember his beautiful scenes with Meryl Streep’s dogs in The French Lieutenant’s Women (2016)? Or the horses in The Ghost Writer? He even got to work with dogs in Belle, and it shows — the way he inhabits his character’s emotions is nothing short of brilliant.
It’s rare to find an actor who can evoke such a wide spectrum of emotions through his acting. He’s not just limited to portraying a single character or type of character. He can play any role, and the characters he plays are always complex and fascinating. He is, in a word, versatile. That’s something you don’t often find in an actor (or anyone, for that matter).
So why should you watch Belle? Because it’s a really good movie? Because it stars Robert Pattinson? Because it’s based on a fantastic novel and has a great story? All of the above. But mostly, you should watch Belle because it’s an incredible portrayal of emotion. And that’s something we seriously need more of in this world. What are your thoughts on this year’s films so far? Are you looking forward to any of them? Let us know in the comments below!