HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
   
 
Newest Articles
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Femme Fatale Find The LadyBuy this film here.
Year: 2002
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote, Eriq Ebouaney, Edouard Montoute, Rie Rasmussen, Thierry Fremont, Gregg Henry, Jo Prestia, Sandrine Bonnaire, Regis Wargnier
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 4 votes)
Review: Laure (Rebecca Romijn) is involved in a daring robbery staged at the Cannes Film Festival. During a premiere, she has to meet a model who is adorned with diamonds, and seduce her in the ladies' bathroom while her boss steals the jewellery. All does not go to plan, and Laure ends up escaping with the loot; now she has the gangsters on her trail, which leads her to be thrown off a high balcony by one of them. By sheer luck, she survives, and has an opportunity to adopt a new identity...

This tortuous, credibility-straining thriller was scripted by the director Brian De Palma. Starting with Laure watching Double Indemnity on television, he makes it clear that he is paying homage to the film noir anti-heroines of the past - as if that title wasn't enough of a giveaway. And he piles on the style right from the opening, with the robbery shot in a sleekly elegant fashion that nevertheless doesn't conceal the unlikely coincidences and impossible-to-plan-for conveniences that occur. It's this tone you have to adjust to if you're going to get on with Femme Fatale.

Once Laure has her new identity, she flies to America, and, as luck would have it, she meets an American millionaire (Peter Coyote) on the plane. We then skip forward seven years to discover that Laure, now calling herself Lily, is wife to the millionaire, now U.S. ambassador to France. She never allows herself to be photographed, for obvious reasons, but this is where a paparazzi photographer (Antonio Banderas) enters the story. He's determined to get a picture, and when he does, he becomes entangled in a kidnapping plot - or does he?

De Palma throws every trick in his book into telling the tale: double identities, the leading man playing the patsy, swooping camerawork, slow motion, split screen, lush orchestral music (courtesy of Ryuichi Sakamoto), twists and turns and even thunder and lightning. But this all suffocates the plot, and you will either be hanging on the characters' every word to figure it out, or lose patience early on.

The first forty minutes contains hardly any dialogue to explain itself, and, with the double-crossing in between, there is a twist by the finish that makes Femme Fatale look less like Double Indemnity (as you've been expecting) and more like Run Lola Run. This change from a celebration of an archetype to a musing on destiny and the consequences of choices we make is difficult to take, and highlights the artificiality of the whole thing. You have to admire De Palma's cheek, though - in this variation, the femme fatale gets a shot at redemption.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 8739 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Brian De Palma  (1940 - )

Controversial American director and Alfred Hitchcock fan, strong on style, but weak on emotion. His early, political films like Greetings and Hi, Mom! gained some acclaim, but it was with Sisters that he emerged as a major talent of the 1970s and settled into his cycle of thrillers and horrors: The Phantom of the Paradise, Carrie, Obsession, The Fury, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Body Double, Carlito's Way, Raising Cain, Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale being good examples.

He's not aversed to directing blockbusters such as Scarface, The Untouchables and Mission Impossible, but Bonfire of the Vanities was a famous flop and The Black Dahlia fared little better as his profile dipped in its later years, with Passion barely seeing the inside of cinemas. Even in his poorest films, his way with the camera is undeniably impressive. Was once married to Nancy Allen.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: