Nothing is more desirable or more deadly than a woman with a secret.
A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her.
A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her.
Saatuslik naine, Öldüren kadin, Mulher Fatal, Mujer fatal
de palma morphs film noir and hitchcock thrills into a trashy, eurosleaze con-artist heist movie set in the world of paparazzi and models (an easy gateway into textual and metatexual doubles, costumes, images, performances) and winds up with one of the horniest, most formally-controlled oddities of his career where cameras and fantasies and smoking hot babes can literally change reality. movies i did not expect to be thinking about while watching a de palma film: Olivia, Showgirls, Final Destination, Mulholland Drive, Deja Vu.
A freewheeling picture, one redolent of Holy Motors in the way its characters are actors, not the actors playing them but figures whose identities are blank canvasses. They try on archetypes as if they were wigs or jewelry, with even Banderas' strung-along photographer in a constant state of flux between hopeless attraction, smug condescension and vicious hatred. When I mentioned I'd rewatched this film on Twitter someone said that the movie is good up until the first time Rebecca Romijn speaks, but aside from the pithiness of the line, that notion ignores all that she does. This is the best modeling gig of her career, a collection of poses and gestures in which she can be whomever the men she…
A horny whirlpool of twinned, mirrored, repeated images, never abandoning the audience's perspective but meticulously constructed to meddle with it. A less defensive extension of a lot of what BODY DOUBLE was up to. As De Palma films go this is practically a tonic.
Very well might bump up this score on second viewing because I definitely didn't grasp everything happening the first time around
Lurid De Palma-sleaze pulp opens with an intricate yet marvelously wonderful heist at Cannes before slipping into a mysterious mashup of con artists, paparazzo, doubles, lap dances, double/triple crosses, impalement, dreams, and the line ‘you don’t have to lick my ass, just fuck me’.
Fellow Newark NJ native BDP uses all of his trash-pulp Hitchcock on steroids tricks that he’s honed for years and riffs on himself more than his influences—and it’s amped up even more here... split screens, overhead shots, slow motion setpieces, and purely nonsensical in the best possible way... and I love it! Kinda feels like a eurosleaze version of Mullholand Drive and that is very much my bullshit.
‘You don’t have to lick my ass. Just fuck me.’
— Me, never.
De Palma goes to Europe and, for the first time, gets really interested in metaphysics: the nature and transference of souls, the encroaching inhumanity of the image as tool and telos, salvation through chance and meaningless structural coincidence. seven years later and no time has passed at all, instead it feels like a different movie collided with this one and some tiny crucial piece got lost in the confusion (but it is wonderfully, gorgeously regained in a dream). some of Hitchock’s influence has been traded in for Eurosleaze’s stumbling towards glorious abstraction, for the better: De Palma has never been freer even at his trashiest. a bathtub overflows and it fills the Seine, seven years later and in a dream
cannes you even believe how criminally
undervalued this cinematic colossus is?
what if it turned out you were in an entirely different kind of movie than the one you had thought you had been living in the whole time? you had gotten really good at being in that movie so good that you could slip its bonds at will or so you thought just for a little while and those little whiles got longer and longer until you forgot you were in a movie at all except that is a lie and what about those weapons in your purse? those forged documents got you real documents which might as well be forged for all the good they are doing you. you can enact your genre easily, flash all the signs, call…
I think it would be really cool if there was another version of this where Rebecca Romijn is watching the Marx Bros instead of Barbara Stanwyck at the beginning and she spends the rest of the movie honking a bicycle horn and cutting off people's ties.
De Palma’s fuck you to the arthouse crowd? Think about it: Here we have a film so compositionally glorious yet the actual plot is pretty well-treaded and there are points where it’s ridiculous. None more so than the opening which takes place where? Cannes. De Palma shoots this long opening scene with all the bravado and unique eye that a world like Cannes would eat up if the film itself was considered of higher class. The very first moment of the opening shot is Romijn-Stamos reflected back through her TV, while she watches Double Indemnity with French subtitles. The whole film jumps between French and English as if De Palma is constantly cracking jokes at pompous cinemagoers expense - since…
"This world is hell, and you're nothing but a fuckin' patsy."
It's like this movie was based on my 14-year-old self's fantasies about Rebecca Romijn
What a trip! If Hitchcock was around for the 1980s erotic thriller, he'd make something just like Femme Fatale.
Hard to fully follow, but always compelling. Definitely had to rewind to catch a few things. De Palma's up to his usual visual tricks, but the screenplay is a little too wooden to really make those tricks fully work.
For example, the one-take interrogation scene is an impressive feat of camera movement, both inventive and vintage. However, it's stiff blocking and lackluster dialogue really deflate what could be a knockout.
That said, definitely a movie that begs for a rewatch, whichever way you swing it!
Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, well that was something else! Felt like I just watched a 2 hour fever dream. Even if this film wasn’t a masterpiece, the opening 15-20 minutes and the final 10 minutes still make it essential De Palma. Incredible performance by Rebecca Romijn and Antonio Banderas is as fun to watch as ever. Too much sex appeal for one movie to contain!!!!!! Blends Hitchcock with Lynch with Verhoeven????? I mean, as far as narratively structured films go, this has gotta be up there for one of the most efficient and well-executed. It’s like a later career revisit of BLOW OUT but with an extremely sexy angle. 5 stars in the most genuine fashion.
Watched on HBO Max
This is De Palma at his best, Femme Fatale is an engrossing watch because of his visual tricks. His camera kept me engaged even though his script wasn’t very good and the cast is adequate at best, but mostly not. The opening heist is stunning and I went back and watched it all over again once this ended.
Lots of great DePalma themes present: voyeurism, corruption, obsession, doppelgangers, lust, betrayal, perception and misperception. I’m not sure I’m sold on the cast, but it’s a fun watch with numerous twists and visual clues. Both this and Snake Eyes require an act of God in the final act to provide an opportunity for redemption. That may be heavy handed and a bit hokey and I can understand why others might not like these two. But I say if you need to work something out, brother, work it out. I’m happy to be invited along for the ride.
There's a lot to parse through, both good and bad. I actually don't mind the twist that much, because what proceeded it was pretty ridiculous to the point where it felt beyond belief. The opening heist was great as well, and the two leads have some good chemistry. On the other hand, oh boy is this movie exceedingly horny, and in a way that feels exploitative of Rebecca Romijn.
All in all, there's a lot to like about this, but there's also plenty to criticize. Maybe this will come together better in a rewatch, but still a recommendation for me.
Uneven movie but I love Brian DePalma's confidence to just go for it at every turn, not giving a guff about continuity or sense. His command of the craft carries everything. What I wouldn't do to be the pool table under Rebecca Romjin-Stamos....
If you make people horny enough you can bend reality to your will
J’avoue que je n’aurais peut-être jamais regardé ce film si Ed_W00d ne me l’avait pas recommandé. Même si j’aime beaucoup De Palma, la combinaison du titre, de l’affiche et du casting de Rebecca Romijn me faisaient croire à un thriller érotique poche et malaisant.
Au final, c’est comme un peu ça que c’était? Mais on a l’impression que c’est pleinement assumé, puis c’est rempli de De Palma-ismes qui me font toujours sourire. Ça se veut quand même un peu tongue-in-cheek et même si le scénario est parfaitement ridicule je ne m’en suis pas trop formalisé.
Pas un De Palma que je pense revisiter fréquemment mais c’est moins navet que ce à quoi je m’attendais.
I accepted the twist. that allowed me to enjoy the end of the movie more than I enjoyed the early going.
I couldn't get into the action at Cannes, that shit was absolutely absurd. the plot was a little circuitous -- not terribly complicated, in the end, but there was a disorganized sense I've gotten with some old noirs, where you know what's going on and where things are headed but the activity feels cluttered and you're just not quite with the movie. a fitting similarity, I suppose.
I'm also realizing I'm not a huge fan of Banderas.
not every movie needs to be entertaining in the same way for me, but every movie needs to take me away, at least a little bit, and make me feel something. this movie didn't.
Missed the mark for me. I found the writing and story telling sloppy. Few scenes made me feel like I had walked into a movie and was trying to catch up on what I had missed. I felt like that when the movie started. The way things played out in the left a bad taste in my mouth
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