Femme Fatale2002

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
The sheer pleasure of watching movies is celebrated in Brian De Palma's dazzling Femme Fatale. Working from his own intricate screenplay, De Palma indulges all of his trademark obsessions, upping the ante on Hitchcock (again) with a Vertigo-like plot that begins with an audacious heist at the Cannes film festival (another sexy, violent tour de force for De Palma). From there, the stunning thief Laure (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) assumes a new identity, marries a U.S. senator (Peter Coyote), and returns to Paris where a tenacious paparazzo (Antonio Banderas) becomes a patsy in her multilayered scheme. De Palma's weaving a web of nonsense, but his plotting is so exuberantly absurd--and his frame so full of visual clues and relevant detail--that Femme Fatale becomes a joyous thrill ride at first encounter, and a crazily logical (and grandly rewarding) movie on subsequent viewings. In her best role to date, Romijn-Stamos is everything you'd want a femme fatale to be, in a thriller that constantly challenges you to question what you're seeing. --Jeff Shannon

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