A fledgling Staten Island journalist witnesses a brutal murder in the neighboring apartment of a French-Canadian model, but the police do not believe that the crime took place. With the help of a private detective, she seeks out the truth.
Brian De Palma
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
Publicity for this picture stated that the precedent for beautifully shrewd duplicitous predator 'femme fatales' had been set during the 1940s by such extraordinary leading ladies such as Mary Astor as the gloriously untrustworthy Brigid O'Shaughnessy in John Huston's classic 'The Maltese Falcon' (1941); Barbara Stanwyck, with her famously fetishized ankle bracelet, in Billy Wilder's seethingly sexy 'Double Indemnity' (1944); and Rita Hayworth, embodying the mysterious temptress Elsa Bannister, in Orson Welles' 'The Lady from Shanghai' (1947). It was also noted that modern movie 'film noir' pictures had starred sultry women such as Kathleen Turner in Lawrence Kasdan's 'Body Heat' (1981); Linda Fiorentino in 'The Last Seduction' (1994); and Kim Basinger in 'L.A. Confidential' (1997) for which she won an Academy Award. See more »
Following the initial heist, Black Tie says, "The bitch double-crossed us," in French. But the subtitles translate it as "The bitched double-crossed us". See more »
[talking about herself]
What happened to poor Lily? She must have drowned and washed out to sea.
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Brian De Palma's 'Femme Fatale' is pure movie-making. In fact, it is done so well you almost forget it is all close to nonsense. But who cares, 'Femme Fatale' is an exercise in style drenched in twists and turns. Instead of cheating De Palma gives us a lot of little hints, easily missed the first time you see it. Explaining the story could ruin a lot and is probably useless anyway.
I can tell the film opens with a heist, probably one of the most erotic ones out there. Laure Ash (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) is the one who goes away with a very expensive artifact betraying a whole lot of people. This event is what drives her the rest of the movie, but in what way I can not reveal. I can say that we move forward to seven years later and that Laure has changed her identity, more by mistake than on purpose. Another important thing I can tell you is that we meet a photographer named Nicolas Bardo (Antonio Banderas). He takes a picture of Laure while she is still Laure and he is the one who takes a picture of her seven years later, a photo that could spoil everything for her.
I should stop talking about the story. You have to see it for yourself, collecting clues and try to make something out of it. I love a movie like this. 'Memento', 'Mulholland Dr.' and 'Donnie Darko' are other examples. Maybe you can figure them out, if that is the filmmakers intention, maybe you can not. But it is not so much the conclusion I enjoy, it is the ride that brings us there. De Palma does it in a terrific way with a lot of love for the movies.
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