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"FEMME FATALE"
(2002) (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Antonio Banderas) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Heavy Extreme Heavy Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Extreme None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Heavy Moderate Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Suspense/Thriller: An alluring thief goes on the run after double-crossing her partners and must then deal with a former paparazzo who may have blown her new cover.
PLOT:
Laure Ash (REBECCA ROMIJN-STAMOS) is an alluring thief who's plotting a daring jewelry heist at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival with her partners, Black Tie (ERIQ EBOUANEY) and Racine (EDOUARD MONTOUTE). The plan is for Laure to seduce Veronica (RIE RASMUSSEN), one of the attendees, and replace her various diamond-studded accouterments with fake duplicates.

When a security official interrupts the heist, things turn violent and Laure hits the road with the diamonds. She thinks she's double-crossed the others, but another encounter with Racine ends up with her being thrown down into an atrium where she's knocked unconscious. An older couple who's followed her then mistakes her for their grieving daughter, Lily, who's recently lost her husband and child.

Laure then decides to adopt that woman's identity and head for America when she meets Watts (PETER COYOTE), a sympathetic American government worker. She thinks she's made a clean getaway, but seven years later, she returns as Watt's wife when he's made the American Ambassador to France.

It's then and there that former paparazzo Nicolas Bardo (ANTONIO BANDERAS) is assigned to get photos of the little seen wife. His actions eventually involve Serra (THIERRY FREMONT), a local French police inspector, Leonard Shiff (GREGG HENRY), head of Watts' security, and Black Tie and Racine who still want their diamonds.

From that point on, Laure/Lily sets an elaborate plan into motion that she hopes will take care of her various problems and predicaments.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of director Brian De Palma's work or of anyone in the cast, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong sexuality, violence and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • REBECCA ROMIJN-STAMOS plays a thief who double-crosses her partners during their elaborate crime (in which she has a planned lesbian encounter). She also seduces and sets up Nicolas, shoots people, smokes and uses strong profanity.
  • ANTONIO BANDERAS plays a former paparazzo who agrees to take a job photographing the Ambassador's wife, only to be drawn into Laure/Lily's web. He smokes, uses profanity and has sex with her.
  • ERIQ EBOUANEY plays Laure's criminal partner who uses strong profanity and attacks various people, including her.
  • EDOUARD MONTOUTE plays their other partner who also gets rough with Laure while wanting the diamonds back from her.
  • PETER COYOTE plays a government worker turned Ambassador who marries Laure.
  • RIE RASMUSSEN plays a film festival attendee who wears a provocative and revealing outfit and then has a lesbian encounter with Laure.
  • THIERRY FREMONT plays the local police inspector who tries to figure out what's going on.
  • GREGG HENRY plays the head of Watts' security team who follows Nicolas and Laure/Lily around, also trying to figure out what they're up to.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated thriller. Profanity consists of at least 26 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are present. Sexually explicit dialogue is also uttered, while several steamy sexual encounters (straight and lesbian) are seen and include movement, nudity (bare breasts) and related sounds. Various women are seen in revealing attire and/or acting in seductive fashions.

    Violence includes several violent and bloody deaths (via shootings, two men being impaled and a woman being run over a truck), while non-lethal violence includes other shootings, fighting and various characters roughing up others (including men doing that to a woman). Some of those scenes and others (including an attempted Russian roulette style suicide attempt) may also be disturbing and/or suspenseful to viewers.

    Various characters have bad attitudes, some tense family material is present as is some imitative behavior, while various characters smoke and some liquor is present. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Black Tie slaps Laure across the face and asks if she's high (she shakes her head no).
  • A person carries champagne.
  • Room service brings Laure some champagne (but she doesn't have any).
  • Laure and Nicolas have drinks in front of them in a bar.
  • Nicholas tells Laure that she looks like she needs a drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a man's urine stream in a bathroom.
  • Drops of blood splatter down onto a bathroom floor and we then see blood on Black Tie's tuxedo shirt. Years later, he still has dried blood on that shirt.
  • We see a woman with a black eye (that turns out to be fake).
  • Blood squirts out as a man is shot.
  • A man has some blood from his mouth.
  • Some men are rather bloody after they're impaled (blood on their clothes, from one's mouth).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Laure, Black Tie and Racine have teamed together to try to pull off an elaborate jewelry heist that involves violence. She ends up double crossing them.
  • Black Tie treats Laure poorly, calling her "bitch" and hitting her, while Racine later roughs her up and attempts to kill her as well.
  • Some may be offended at Nicolas impersonating a stereotypically effeminate gay man.
  • Racine admits to stealing a car.
  • Laure tries to set up Nicolas and have him accused of stealing her car and kidnapping her for ransom.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" could also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • A grieving woman puts a bullet into a revolver, spins the cylinder and then places the gun to her head. She pulls the trigger and nothing happens, and that causes her to sob more. She then spins the cylinder again and we hear a shot accompanied by a loud clap of thunder, but don't see the shooting or result thereof. We later see the same scene again, but this time there's no shot.
  • Shot from the waist down, we see a woman running in slow motion from two men who chase after her. We then see a regular shot of Black Tie and Racine struggling with her (in slow motion) and then throwing her out in front of an approaching truck that hits and then graphically runs over her with its large tires. We later see this scene again, but it ends differently.
  • From a distance, we see a man hold a gun to a woman's face.
  • Nicolas returns home to find his front door open and he slowly goes inside (as suspenseful music plays).
  • A truck runs into two men and smashes them against the forked lift of another truck where they're graphically impaled and killed.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Barbara Stanwyck's character in "Double Indemnity" shoots Fred MacMurray's character (no blood and we don't see the impact).
  • Handguns/Dart gun: Used to threaten, shoot, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck /are you doing/do you think you're doing?" "(You can) Go f*ck yourself," "F*cked up," "How come you're the only man in this room who doesn't want to f*ck me?" "F*ck you," "That f*cking bitch," "You better f*cking forget it," "Holy sh*t," "I feel like sh*t," "Bitch" (said many times), "Stop dreaming bitch," "Piss" (urinate), "Smart ass," "Scumbag," "What the hell do you think you're doing?" "Are you nuts?" "Screw" (nonsexual) and "Snowball's chance in Hell."
  • Nicolas acts like a blind man and then later like a gay man (with stereotypical accent) to get closer to Laure.
  • Laure tries to set up Nicolas and have him accused of stealing her car and kidnapping her for ransom.
  • Various characters in a bar have tattoos.
  • A woman gives "the finger" to some men.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least (some in French with English subtitles): 26 "f" words (2 used sexually), 8 "s" words, 6 damns, 5 asses (1 used with "hole"), 3 hells, 2 S.O.B.s, 4 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "G-damn" and "God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Laure's bare back as she watches TV. We then see a partial view of the side of her bare breast.
  • We see many views of an actress who wears a top comprised of a small, coiled top (somewhat shaped like a snake where the slender body wraps around her chest and bare breasts, barely covering them and exposing one nipple). She also wears an extremely short and tight skirt that rides extremely low on her hips.
  • Various women show cleavage.
  • In the ladies restroom, Laure runs her hand down a woman's body to her clothed butt and that woman then leaves in a huff. Later, the above actress meets Laure in the fancy restroom and goes into a large stall with her (that has a partially transparent, smoked glass door). The two passionately make out in a sensual fashion (Laure is doing this so that she can remove the woman's jewelry and let it fall to the floor where Black Tie replaces it with fake replicas). The passionate make out scene continues and we see a hand going down and groping a clothed crotch (with some moaning and partially seen through the frosted door along with Laure behind the woman, pushing her up against the door). Laure then runs scissors down this woman's face, chest and breasts in a sensual fashion (no cutting or blood) and then cuts the clasp holding on her top. We then see Laure fondling this woman's bare breasts while her head is down at her crotch (seen from an aerial view directly above them).
  • We see a woman in rather short and tight-fitting shorts (the camera focuses on her from the waist down as she walks).
  • We see the outside of some sex shops that advertise that (such as "Sex Shop" and "Video Sex Projection"). From a distance, we see a woman in a bra in a room above one of those shops.
  • We see Laure's cleavage.
  • We see Laure undressing in front of Nicolas and then see her in her small bra, panties and garters. She then asks if he's flirting with her and he replies that he didn't mean to. The two then passionately kiss while standing (and sex is implied).
  • Laure kisses Nicolas on the neck and then the mouth.
  • While dressed provocatively in a bar filled with men starring at her, Laure ask Nicolas, "How come you're the only man in this room who doesn't want to f*ck me?" Moments later, she dances in a sensual/seductive fashion for another man (wiggling her hips around like a stripper). She then removes some of her clothes and we see her dancing around in her very small panties and garters (we see part of her bare butt). She does more suggestive dancing, running her hand along her panties and the camera focuses on her butt. While turned away from the camera, she slowly lowers her bra (we see the side of her bare breast) and then puts it back up. She then does a lap dance for a man who's seated in front of her and then has her head down at his crotch (seen from behind him). She then bends over a table, wiggles around, and then lies on the table in a suggestive fashion where she thrust her hips up into the air. That man then gets between her legs as she lies there and grabs her. She slaps him and he pushes her down onto the table, but Nicolas then steps in and stops that.
  • We then see Nicolas and her making out while she's still in her bra and panties. She asks if she made him jealous (he says yes) and we then hear her undoing his zipper. She says, "You don't have to lick my ass, just f*ck me." She then turns around, bends over a table and he has sex with her from behind (with movement and related sounds). She then has him lie on the table and gets on top of him with a great deal more movement and sexual sounds (a very erotic and sensual scene with a close-up of her butt on his crotch). After he climaxes, she gets up and walks off in just her panties (into a room with a hanging beaded curtain that has the design of a bare-breasted woman on it). She then looks down at his crotch and says, "Wipe it off."
  • We see female full frontal nudity of a woman underwater (with a few strategically placed small bubbles in front of her crotch area, but we do see pubic hair and bare breasts).
  • A woman shows cleavage.
  • SMOKING
  • Laure smokes more than 5 times, Nicolas smokes around 5 times and some miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • Barbara Stanwyck's character in "Double Indemnity" smokes.
  • Black Tie gives a man a cigar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We briefly see a grieving woman who's so distraught about losing her child and husband that she tries to kill herself.
  • A woman implies that her husband beats her (noted by her black eye), but that all turns out to be a lie.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Attempting suicide (a character here tries that via shooting herself).
  • Double-crossing others.
  • Paparazzi.
  • Lesbianism.
  • VIOLENCE
  • In the end, not everything that's listed below turns out to be real, but all of it appears that way as it occurs.
  • Barbara Stanwyck's character in "Double Indemnity" shoots Fred MacMurray's character (no blood and we don't see the impact).
  • Black Tie slaps Laure across the face and asks if she's high (she shakes her head no).
  • Black Tie zaps a man who's urinating and shocks him into unconsciousness.
  • Black Tie shoots a security guard in the face (and/or eye) with some sort of dart. He then rushes the man who manages to shoot him, but Black Tie punches him many times while he's on the floor.
  • Black Tie is about to shoot a woman, but Laure kicks him aside and then pistol-whips him.
  • Racine punches a man in the face. Moments later and after lying in wait for her, he grabs Laure by the throat and the two struggle. She then opens the door and smashes it into him, but he then grabs her outside and throws her against the wall. He then throws her over the ledge and down several stories of an indoor atrium (she crashes through a glass ceiling and lands on something that breaks her fall, but she's knocked unconscious).
  • A grieving woman throws floral arrangements around the room.
  • A grieving woman puts a bullet into a revolver, spins the cylinder and then places the gun to her head. She pulls the trigger and nothing happens. She then spins the cylinder again and we hear a shot accompanied by a loud clap of thunder, but don't see the shooting or result thereof.
  • Shot from the waist down, we see a woman running in slow motion from two men who chase after her. We then see a regular shot of Black Tie and Racine struggling with her (in slow motion) and then throwing her out in front of an approaching truck that hits and then graphically runs over her with its large tires.
  • Police pin a man to the hood of a car as they arrest him.
  • Laure hits a woman over the head, knocking her unconscious.
  • Nicolas grabs Laure and acts as if he's going to punch her, but she holds a gun on him.
  • After Laure dances in a sexually suggestive fashion for another man, he grabs her while she lies on a table. She then slaps him, he pushes her down and Nicolas then steps in and grabs the man. We then see shadows of Nicolas repeatedly punching this man (we also hear the sounds).
  • A man holds a gun on a woman as another man approaches. That third man is then shot (and blood squirts out) and the woman then holds a gun on the first man.
  • A man is shot and wounded.
  • The driver of a car grabs the arm of the man in the backseat (who's holding a gun on him), elbows him, and then punches the other passenger and slams his head against the inside of the car. We then hear more violence and a gunshot but don't see the impact.
  • A man grabs a woman by the hair and her face and slams her against something (we don't see the impact). He then throws her off a bridge and she falls a long distance into a body of water.
  • Some men chase after and struggle with a woman.
  • A truck runs into two men and smashes them against the forked lift of another truck where they're graphically impaled and killed.
  • A woman is accidentally knocked down.



  • Reviewed October 31, 2002 / Posted November 6, 2002

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