Femme Fatale

November 6th, 2002


Femme Fatale

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Still of Antonio Banderas and Rebecca Romijn in Femme FataleStill of Antonio Banderas, Brian De Palma and Rebecca Romijn in Femme FataleAntonio Banderas at event of Femme FataleStill of Rebecca Romijn in Femme FataleStill of Antonio Banderas and Rebecca Romijn in Femme FataleStill of Peter Coyote and Rebecca Romijn in Femme Fatale

A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her.

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 6.2/10 (19,857 voted)

Critic's Score: 59/100

Director: Brian De Palma

Stars: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote

The thief Laurie Ash steals the expensive diamond jewel called 'Eye of the Serpent' in an audacious heist during an exhibition in Cannes 2001 Festival. She double-crosses her partners and is mistakenly taken as Lily, a woman who lost her husband and son in an accident and is missing since then, by an ordinary family. One day, while having bath in Lily's bathtub, Lily comes back home and commits suicide. Laurie assumes definitely Lily's identity, goes to America where she marries a rich man, who becomes the Ambassador of USA in France. When Laurie returns to France, her past haunts her.

Rebecca Romijn - Laure / Lily (as Rebecca Romijn-Stamos)
Antonio Banderas - Nicolas Bardo
Peter Coyote - Watts
Eriq Ebouaney - Black Tie
Edouard Montoute - Racine
Rie Rasmussen - Veronica
Thierry Frémont - Serra (as Thierry Fremont)
Gregg Henry - Shiff
Fiona Curzon - Stanfield Phillips
Daniel Milgram - Pierre / Bartender
Jean-Marc Minéo - Seated Guard (as Jean-Marc Mineo)
Jean Chatel - Cannes Commentator
Stéphane Petit - Bodyguard One (as Stephane Petit)
Olivier Follet - Bodyguard Two
Eva Darlan - Irma

Taglines: Nothing is more desirable or more deadly than a woman with a secret


Official Website: Warner Bros. |

Release Date: 6 November 2002

Filming Locations: Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France

Box Office Details

Budget: $35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $2,776,248 (USA) (10 November 2002) (1066 Screens)

Gross: $6,592,103 (USA) (8 December 2002)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Antonio Banderas didn't really see himself as Bardo, but wanted to learn directorial skills from Brian de Palma. He shared his thoughts with De Palma, who agreed to teach him everything he wanted to know if Banderas took the part.

Factual errors: Following the initial heist scene at the beginning of the film, Black Tie says, "The bitch double-crossed us," in French. But the subtitles translate it as "The bitched double-crossed us".

Lily: Isn't sugar better than vinegar?

User Review

Well crafted and finely detailed

Rating: 7/10

You really have to admire Brian DePalma as a director. He's directed some of the finest thrillers in the last 30 years and even his misfires are interesting to watch like "Snake Eyes". I really enjoyed how well made this film is. If you don't like the story, thats your business. But this film is so finely detailed and shot that I put it in the same boat as "Mulholland Dr." and "Blackhawk Down". Interesting films that some viewers had mixed reactions to but the direction of these films was so expertly crafted that even the most ardent critics had to admit to the talent of the director. This film starts out at the Cannes Film Festival where a group of thieves are attempting to steal some diamonds off of a model by having Laure Ash (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) seduce her in a lesbian encounter in the ladies bathroom. Things go wrong and Laure takes off with the diamonds. Seven years later Laure is married to an American diplomat and is in Paris with her husband when a papparazzi named Nicolas (Antonio Banderas) takes a picture of her. She doesn't want to be photographed because the former members of her gang are still looking for her. What I have just mentioned is just scratching the surface. This is a psychological thriller that has so many twists and turns that the casual film viewer will probably be in over their head. But this is a film that gives many hints along the way as you watch it. You have to pay attention to this film and one key scene takes place when Laure and Nicolas are having coffee in a cafe. Laure is sitting next to the window. Outside, a poster is being put up for a film called "Deja Vu" and the reflection of Laure on the glass is centered in the middle of the poster. DePalma uses many overhead shots to allow the viewer to get full view of certain scenes. Some viewers and critics have said they were disappointed with the casting but I admire the job that Rebecca did for this film. Okay, she's not Jodie Foster as far as being an actress is concerned but Foster couldn't exude sexuality like this if her life depended on it either. I thought it was believable that her character could manipulate Nicholas the way she did. How could he not? She was a combination of sexuality and vulnerability inside a very smart and devious mind. And for a film called "Femme Fatale" you had better find an actress that is smart and utterly beautiful at the same time. I found her performance to be bold and brave. DePalma uses each shot to send signals relating to the story. It sounds like a very difficult shoot because each scene has so much meaning. He doesn't have cameras following characters for nothing. Each shot has a reason. The details to this filming are enormous and difficult. DePalma again shows us the attention to details of his complex artistry. If your one of those shallow film watchers that only views films from the incredible mediocrity of Hollywood than your probably going to be lost watching this film. For the viewers that remember and care about risk taking when making movies, than you can appreciate the effort made by DePalma. If you don't like it, thats okay. But you should appreciate his effort and nerve as a director.


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