Saturday, September 23, 2017

Femme Fatale

Movie Name: Femme Fatale
Year of Release: 2002
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote, Rie Rasmussen, Gregg Henry, Fiona Curzon, Eva Darlan
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Watch it on Amazon

Riding the wave of his comeback, which started with "Mission: Impossible" in 1996, but which hit a stumbling block with his interesting, yet flawed "Mission to Mars", director Brian De Palma went to Europe to shoot the interesting "Femme Fatale". The film follows the story of Laure Ash, a thief, who is able to steal some very valuable diamonds during the Cannes Film Festival. Laure double crosses her associates, and flees to Paris, where she witnesses her doppelganger commit suicide. Laure swiftly takes her place, and manages to escape to America. Seven years later she returns to Paris, where a photographer gets a snapshot of hers, and makes her a target for her former associates.
"Femme Fatale" is a return to themes that have been a part of Brian De Palma's films since the 70s. Mistaken identities, casual occurrences that turn out to have defining importance in characters lives, doubles, all elements that made his most interesting films so memorable (check for instance "Blow Out" and "Body Double"). "Femme Fatale" is a digest of a lot of his previous films, and it's filled with his habitual camera flourishes (his films are stylistically always interesting and definitely very much his trademark), and the surprising twist at the end, something that has become associated with De Palma. His work has long surpassed that of a Hitchcock aficionado - his style is very much his own, with his universe of characters that inhabit this gray zone, where their morals are somewhat tainted, but yet they still manage to always redeem themselves and have a heart and conscience. "Femme Fatale" is highly entertaining and features the beautiful Rebecca Romijn as the focus of attention, something that is always commendable. She manages to be both icy and yet vulnerable. The film also features the beautiful score of Ryuichi Sakamoto and the cinematography from Luc Besson's habitual collaborator, Thierry Arbogast. An interesting film from a very good director.