(2002, 114 mins, 35mm)
In English, French with English subtitles
CAST Rebecca Romijn Stamos, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote
Beginning with one of the most original and daring diamond heists ever concocted - and located at the Cannes Film Festival, no less! - this labyrinthine neo-noir is arguably De Palma’s most underrated movie.
Laure Ashe (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) is the femme fatale in question, and the movie spins webs of deceit and confusion around this confident, commanding but unreliable character; she reinvents herself but fails to escape herself. De Palma, of course, is not so much reinventing as reworking… This is a movie-movie which begins with a reference to Double Indemnity but also throws in bits of Marnie and Rear Window, Obsession and Dressed to Kill, and keeps doubling down on its own crazy mirror of allusions and illusions… The magnificent climax is one of the most outrageous sequences De Palma has ever choreographed (no small claim), a bravura demonstration of artistry and irony.
"Sly as a snake, Femme Fatale is a sexy thriller that coils back on itself in seductive deception. This is pure filmmaking, elegant and slippery. I haven’t had as much fun second-guessing a movie since Mulholland Drive." Roger Ebert
"In his dazzling and luxuriant new thriller Femme Fatale, De Palma turns trash into chic. It’s a sexy, violent, glamorous, sinfully funny movie with a surface as hard and brilliant as diamonds." Charles Taylor, Salon.com
"De Palma is a genre unto himself… elegantly dreamy, rich and strange… Outragous, provocative and fun." Time Out