Femme Fatale

RATED: R
Stars:   Antonio Banderas, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Peter Coyote, Eriq Ebouaney, Edouard Montoute, Rie Rasmussen
Director:    Brian De Palma
Screenwriter:    Brian De Palma

Revel in the superb technical flashiness of Brian De Palma’s latest erotic thriller because it’s glossiness blinds the mind to any contextual common sense.

The opening sequence is set to tantalizingly lush music where Laure Ash (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), a thief and the femme fatale of the title, is hired by her boss Black Tie (Eriq Ebouaney) and his cohort Racine (Edouard Montoute) to rob $10 million in diamonds right off a model’s body at a Cannes Film Festival premiere. The daring heist cleverly takes place in a stall of a ladies restroom during a lesbian tryst while security guards wait anxiously for the model’s return. It is by far the best sequence of the film, exquisitely shot and edited.

The theft is a success but then Laure makes off with the loot herself in hopes of leaving her criminal lifestyle behind. She reinvents herself as a married woman, to a diplomat (Peter Coyote), no less, and years later, is forced to return to the scene of the crime (France) where photographer Nicolas Bardo (Antonio Banderas) takes a snapshot that threatens to expose her.

That’s when things get sticky and motivation goes out the window. But the film is a visual blast and Romijn-Stamos is excellent, turning on a dime and tying Banderas’ character in knots. The beautiful music was composed and performed by Ryuichi Sakamoto. Rated R for strong sexuality, nudity, violence and language.