6.3/10
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Femme Fatale (2002)

A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her.

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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Laure / Lily (as Rebecca Romijn-Stamos)
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...
...
Edouard Montoute ...
...
Thierry Frémont ...
Serra (as Thierry Fremont)
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Shiff
Fiona Curzon ...
Stanfield Phillips
Daniel Milgram ...
Pierre / Bartender
...
Seated Guard (as Jean-Marc Mineo)
Jean Chatel ...
Cannes Commentator
Stéphane Petit ...
Bodyguard One (as Stephane Petit)
Olivier Follet ...
Bodyguard Two
Éva Darlan ...
Irma (as Eva Darlan)
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Storyline

The thief Laurie Ash steals the expensive diamond jewel called 'Eye of the Serpent' in an audacious heist during an exhibition in Cannes 2001 Festival. She double-crosses her partners and is mistakenly taken as Lily, a woman who lost her husband and son in an accident and is missing since then, by an ordinary family. One day, while having bath in Lily's bathtub, Lily comes back home and commits suicide. Laurie assumes definitely Lily's identity, goes to America where she marries a rich man, who becomes the Ambassador of USA in France. When Laurie returns to France, her past haunts her. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nothing is more desirable or more deadly than a woman with a secret


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

6 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mujer fatal  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$664,844 (France), 10 May 2002

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,776,248, 10 November 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$6,592,103, 8 December 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a poster in the movie that says Deja Vue. Deja Vue was going to be the original title of Brian De Palma's Obsession (1976). See more »

Goofs

The film supposedly takes place at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, even though the premiere that was recreated for the opening of the film is for Est - Ouest, which, had it been shown at Cannes, would have been shown in 1998 or 1999. The real director Régis Wargnier and the star of the film Sandrine Bonnaire appear as themselves. See more »

Quotes

Lily: All your boyhood stories make you so damn lovable.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Femme Fatale: From Dream to Reality (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

My Ideal
(1930)
Music by Newell Chase and Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Played during the Double Indemnity (1944) clip
Published by Famous Music Corp. (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Auteur theory is alive and well with De Palma
10 November 2002 | by See all my reviews

Mr. De Palma is not a critics' darling, and as such his latest, Femme Fatale, has come in for his usual roasting. Is it deserved? Not if you love a film that embraces the visual splendour and techniques that make cinema a unique art form.

Femme Fatale sees De Palma returning to his forte: the suspense thriller. It is a welcome return considering his recent fare have seen him straying to more mainstream efforts - Mission to Mars, Mission: Impossible - that were shells of his virtuoso films of the late 70s and early 80s.

The film leads off with a stunning 20-minute Jewel heist sequence that takes place during the Cannes film festival of 2001. Completely bereft of dialogue, a la Topkapi, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos's character has the enviable task of lifting a diamond dress from Rie Rasmussun in a bathroom encounter. His first original screenplay in 10 years, De Palma writes a tightly-plotted tale that certainly does not lead the audience by the hand, and the resulting twists it provides will allow different perspectives on the film's events with repeat viewings.

Antonio Banderas - usually lost without cause if not working with Robert Rodriguez - does what he needs to do with efficiency; Romijn-Stamos, the Femme Fatale of the title, provides the eye candy. The acting is not top drawer, but it does not need to be: we're here to see an auteur in his element: De Palma delivers. Cinema is more than a stage with a camera - De Palma uses his camera and cinema technique to brilliant effect. Huge swooping camera movements, split-screen, slow motion sequences, no dialogue and an enveloping orchestral score; De Palma's signature is prevalent. And that is good: a director should never be an autonomous entity, happy to turn out derivative drivel that get the masses in and out - directors for hire are too commonplace in Hollywood today - and that is something that De Palma could never be accused of.

Femme Fatale is a great example of a director working in a genre he loves and understands, and given the freedom to create. Total cinema? Its smell is sure intoxicating. Welcome back, Mr. De Palma.


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