The Twilight star’s latest film is a bold career move.
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5 May 2009 - 11:11 AM  UPDATED 6 Nov 2012 - 9:30 PM

To millions of girls and women, Twilight's Robert Pattinson is the world's hottest vampire. But will they warm to him as gay, avant-garde artist Salvador Dalí?

We'll have a pretty fair indication after Little Ashes opens in the US and UK this weekend. Shot before Twilight, the raunchy, R-rated British-produced drama examines the relationship between Dalí and Javier Beltran as the poet/dramatist Federico García Lorca in 1920s Madrid. “The two form a bond challenged by their fierce ambitions and struggle between a love for Spain and a love for each other,” according to the synopsis.

It could be a daring career move, but some of the initial reviews are encouraging. TotalFilm.com predicts there'll be a built-in audience of “quivering schoolgirls looking for their 'R-Pattz' fix,” but it warns, “They'll be in for a shock. There's no dreamy neck-nibbling to be had here – just good honest art-house gay sex, masturbation and nudity.”

DVD Times declared, “Pattinson's current fan popularity look(s) like being a key piece of casting as he acquits himself well throughout the range of Dalí's personal traits, initially shy but later developing grand mannerisms and amusing twitchiness.”

The UK's The Guardian, however, was less impressed, opining that Rob “struggles to portray the hugely complex Dalí with any real conviction.” And Slant mag was scathing, declaring, “Beginning with the ridiculous casting, Little Ashes is less a film than just a series of bad ideas piled on top of one another.”

Directed by Brit Paul Morrison (whose first feature, the Welsh Solomon and Gaenor, was nominated for best foreign language film at the 2000 Oscars) the film also shows the relationship between Dalí, Lora and filmmaker Luis Buñuel, a homophobe, played Mathew McNulty.

“I\'ve never related to a character more than him, which is really weird because everyone thinks that he\'s some nut job,” Pattinson told About.com. “There was so much about him that I found fascinating. He was an incredibly complex person. I\'m not saying that I am. I\'m not at all."

There's no Australian release date for the movie, so we may have to wait for it to appear on DVD.

After he finishes filming The Twilight Saga: New Moon, the 22-year-old will star in romantic drama Remember Me for the same studio, Summit Entertainment. Originally written by Will Fetters, the story centres on two lovers whose newfound relationship is threatened when they deal with family tragedies. Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married) has been hired to polish the script, and Allen Coulter (Hollywoodland) is in talks to direct. There's no word yet on who'll play the female lead.

How to Be, another Pattinson pic which pre-dates Twilight, failed to get a theatrical release in the US and premiered on April 29 on the Independent Festival Direct movies-on-demand channel. Written and directed by Oliver Irving, it features Rob as an apathetic guy who recruits a Canadian self-help guru to assist him to sort out his personal issues. Variety judged the droll comedy could connect with UK youth but said it seems doomed to homevideo abroad.