You probably know Pete Doherty from UK indie rock groups Babyshambles and the Libertines and blood painting curator for Amy Winehouse. But, if you believe critics after the Cannes Film Festival premiere of his latest movie, he is also an actor. A terrible, terrible actor.
Reviewers were not kind to Doherty's performance in the French period drama Confession of a Child of the Century, also starring singer and more accomplished actress Charlotte Gainsbourg. How bad was he? Check out the film's trailer above and read the choicest quotes below:
The Guardian: "His performance as a shambling yet sensitive libertine (geddit?) in Sylvie Verheyde's adaptation of the Alfred de Musset novel is catastrophic… The shambling amateurism of Doherty's line-reading, his sixth-form fidgets, his uncertain eyes, sadly don't share the apt emotional ineptitude of, say, Ryan O'Neal in Barry Lyndon—a film Confession faintly resembles, in the same way that a crab stick resembles a Dover sole." (British snap!)
Hollywood Reporter: "The role of a beautiful and damned 19th century libertine sounds like a perfect fit for disheveled English rock poet Pete Doherty, but then there’s the little matter of being able to act… the Libertines and Babyshambles singer shouldn’t even think of giving up his day job… It’s hard to recall an actor looking more uncomfortable on screen."
Cine-Vue: "The acting debut of former Libertine Pete Doherty, who joins a long line of successful musicians and pop stars who have become truly awful actors… Confession of a Child of the Century feels like a whole production bent around one very poor casting decision."
BBC: "One of the worst acting performances of the Cannes Film Festival… Doherty looks half asleep though the film and his frequent narration sounds as though he is reading from a piece of paper, his voice having no variable intonation."
Screen Daily: "Calamitous miscasting… Wooden performance… With a more or less permanently bored expression, Doherty looks like he’d rather be somewhere else."
Evening Standard: "[Co-star Charlotte] Gainsbourg, we know, is an expert actress and she has to work with a clearly inexperienced partner who, though he fits the part perfectly in many ways, can’t compete with her sensitivity and professionalism."
Variety: "Octave (Doherty), who seems well off but clearly has no hair-styling budget, is at his wits' end when he discovers his beloved (Lily Cole, in a cameo) has cheated on him."
What do you think? Still interested in seeing Confessions?