Archive for the ‘Femme Fatale’ Category

Femme Fatale – review – Film Comment #88

Film Comment – #88 – Femme Fatale – Brian De Palma – 2002


Brian De Palma fires this non-sensical erotic thriller our way starring Rebecca Romijn in a dual role as a jewel thief, Laure, and also as a dopleganger mother, Lilly, who has just lost her husband and daughter. The film begins with her attempting to steal the most expensive bra on the planet at the Cannes film festival. I can see the writers right now dreaming this genius idea up. She betrays the men she is working with in the heist and in her getaway gets knocked unconscious. Now this is the stupidest part of the movie, she is then miraculously found by a family who have been searching for their missing daughter who has just lost her family. Their daughter, Lily, and the thief, Laure, look exactly the same, so they take her back home and nurse her back to health. Huh?

Laure then realizes that stealing this womens identity and heading to the states would be the perfect plan, she soon realizes that there happens to be plane tickets and a passport for the U.S. sitting on the counter, what luck! While Laure is taking a bath and hatching her plan Lily comes back home only to kill herself, could Laure get any luckier!

Laure then heads to the states adopting a rich lifestyle with a senator, but the men she betrayed back in France are still looking for her seven years later. She soon begins to weave a relationship with a photographer played by the greatest actor on the planet, Antonio Banderas, but things are not what they seem as we realize no man can trust Laure, and the French thieves are hot on her tail. There is a twist at the end that is so ridiculous that it takes the film a completely different way, and it’s not a good way.

Brian De Palma attempts to craft an intelligent thriller of mistaken identity that filmmakers such as David Lynch have perfected with “Inland Empire”, and “Mulholland Drive”. He puts a glossy finish on everything with Kubrickian signature techniques and stylistic flair, but what we end up with is a pretty picture with a hollow, unbelievable story.

Grade: D+