Femme Fatale

Laure/Lily Rebecca-Romijn-Stamos
Nicolas Bardo Antonio Banderas
Bruce Hewitt Watts Peter Coyote
Black Tie Eriq Ebouaney
Racine Edouard Montoute
Veronica Rie Rasmussen
Serra Thierry Frémont ….
Truck Driver Salvatore Ingogli

Warner Bros. Pictures/Quinta Communications presents a film written and directed by Brian De Palma. Cameraman Thierry Arbogast. Running time: 114 minutes. Rated R (for strong sexuality, violence and language).

Central Theme
Life is understood backwards and can only be lived forwards, but if given a chance to change decisions of the past, would you?

Laure/Lily is a ¢â‚¬Ëœbad’ girl involved in a $10 million theft from a jewel-bedecked model at Cannes. The team executes, she does her part by seducing the model in the ladies room, but everything changes when Laure bolts with the jewels leaving the rest of the team to fend for themselves.

Her own exit from the country is complicated when her passport is stolen during the heist, but in a case of serendipitous mistaken identity, she finds herself in the apartment of a look-alike named Lily. Lily is grieving the loss of her husband and child and is deciding between suicide and a new start in the U.S. When she chooses suicide Laure boards the plane with a new passport and free ticket to start anew, again circumstantially seated next to a wealthy statesman Watts.

These opening scenes and the entire movie are spare in dialogue and rich in visuals. Even some sub-title dialogue is seen but without accompanying sound (in one case the actors lips don’t even move!) This is a movie you “feel” as it develops.

Seven years later Watts is the new ambassador to France and Laure/Lily is forced to return to the past and former life she has evaded. Nicolas Bardot is a paparazzo assigned to get a photo of the elusive Lily. This chance crossing of paths, which actually began seven years earlier, draws Nicolas and Lily into a destiny neither would choose if given the chance. The inevitability of consequences for choices is at the heart of the film as is the idea of second chances, which we all want, and need, but seldom get.

DePalma’s visuals are stunning as always and the location in France fits the European feel of the plot and character development. As Ebert says, “DePalma’s (sic) movies contain treasure for those who admire the craft as well as the story, who sense the glee with which De Palma manipulates images and characters for the simple joy of being good at it.

The idea of starting over with a “second chance” is visually portrayed as a “death by crucifixion,” and resurrection through immersion in and emergence from water in a stunning, naked Rebecca-Romijn-Stamos, over the bridge and out-of-the-bath-tub scene. De Palma’s symbolization is not accidental–remember too, Laure’s transformation to a new identity as Lily began as she departed a funeral in a church.

Beliefs num
–Our choices all have consequences.
–These consequences are unavoidable.
–There is no such thing as “getting away with a crime.”
–There are people who are determined to do the right thing.
–Guilt, revenge, fear of getting caught are huge weights.
–Fate and serendipity play a major role in the outcomes of your life.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Do choices or fate matter most in life?
–If given a second chance to live your life, how would you live it differently?
–In what sense does Jesus offer a second chance?

Provocative Quotes byline
–You can do better than that. Maybe if I come a little closer? Why don’t you shoot again? Is it because you’ve loved me all along?
==Fred Mac Murray dialogue on old movie on TV.
–No I never loved you. I’m rotten to the core. Until just a minute ago¢â‚¬¦
==Love interest response on TV.
–Charm the snake. If the police get you tell the truth. You know no one. Remember, no one and no guns.
==Laure gets final instructions before heist.
–Go to church and save your soul.
==Bardot yells to Lily as she enters a church having told him to f— himself.
–Please God forgive me. I can’t go on.
==Lily about to shoot herself.
–I made some money and found out I’m interested in other things.
==Watts getting acquainted with Laure on the flight to the US.
–I’m going to America to begin my new life. I lost my baby in France.
==Laure to Watts in plane.
–I thought about her every “f—ing hour for seven “f—ing years, Where is she?
==Former partner seeking revenge.
–When a classy woman checks into a hotel in the middle of the morning, with a gun and bullets, there is only word to describe what will happen next. Bang. When I guy like me shows up, maybe there is something to talk about.
==Bardot to Laure.
–My husband has difficulty controlling his temper because I can’t live with him here. I have a past here. It only takes one photo.
==Laure to Bardot.
–All your boyhood stories make you so loveable.
==Laure to Bardot.
–The cat is in the bag. Did you send the ransom note?
==Message Bardot finds on computer.
–I’m a bad girl, real bad, rotten to the heart. I was given a second chance. I went to the US to get everything a bad girl could want.
==Laure to Bardot.
–Yeah that’s a choice, a bad choice.
==Laure when Bardot urges her to go to the police.
–Do I pull the trigger or do you get your ass on that place and have a wonderful life?
==Laure to Bardot.
–You know why no good deed goes unpunished? The word is hell and you are noting but a f—ing patsy.
==Laure to Bardot.

Posted in Movies, Staublog in November 6, 2002 by | No Comments »

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