Brian De Palma's FEMME FATALE is an unusual and an erotic thriller
that frequently sends viewers into nervous, awkward laughter since
they don't know quite what to make of it. But, if you just kick back
and relax, you'll find that it's great sleazy fun. It features a
dress with a serpentine top made only of gold and diamonds. Just
watching that dress in action is easily worth the price of admission.
The story's long opening sequence, which turns out to be the best
part of the picture, revolves around a very elaborate robbery of the
diamonds on the aforementioned dress. Certainly the most memorable
part of this section is a lesbian love scene that surpasses the famous
two from MULHOLLAND DR.
X-MEN's Rebecca Romijn-Stamos plays the film's lead character, Laure
Ash, a cunning, daring and very sensuous criminal. Sexually, she's
a switch hitter, and, in addition to her lesbian scene, she does a
great striptease for one of her male partners. But she's no lover.
She's more like a black widow spider who would be happy to kill those whom she beds.
The complicated story has Laure's fellow crooks trying to find her
after she skips out with the diamonds that they stole. Peter Coyote
plays a man who experiences every businessman's fantasy. A beautiful
woman sits next to him on an airplane and then falls asleep on his
shoulder. When she wakes, the fantasy continues.
Antonio Banderas plays Nicolas Bardo, a sexy, skillful but slightly
doofus paparazzo who gets caught in Laure's web. Ryuichi Sakamoto's
heavy-handed music feels like an amalgamation of the music from every
old film noir that you've ever seen. The surprise is that this over-the-top
approach to the scoring actually works quite well with De Palma's
flamboyant direction. Assuming that you don't try to take the movie
too seriously, the only major problem with it is its length -- it
needs to have about fifteen minutes of slack trimmed.
Feel like a guilty pleasure that has a complex storyline? FEMME FATALE
is just what you're looking for.
FEMME FATALE runs 1:50. The film is in English and in French with
English subtitles. It is rated R for "strong sexuality, violence
and language" and would be acceptable for older teenagers.
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes