Brian De Palma’s ‘Femme Fatale’ Let It All Hang Out

Brian De Palma’s “Femme Fatale” begins with a close-up of Billy Wilder’s “Double Indemnity” (1944) being shown on TV, the reflection of the film’s lead, Laure Ash (Rebecca Romjin-Stamos), visible on screen.

The title appears at the sound of a gun blast and the camera slowly slinks backwards, revealing Romjin-Stamos (hereafter Romjin, as she now goes by) to be on a hotel bed, killing time before a heist taking place during the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.

Leave it to De Palma to begin his 2002 film with a grand gesture, especially for such a small scene and the first moment of his film. It’s a warmup for how audacious this gets, as the filmmaker forever tied together with words like “controversial” and “Hitchcockian” lacks both timidity and any impulse to reign things...

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Feb 27th 2022
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