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FEMME FATALE


"One of the smartest, most pleasurable expressions of pure movie love to come from an American director in years.... it feels and plays like the work of an artist newly born...Freed from the constraints of censorship that kept Hitchcock's obsessions sublimated, De Palma doesn't need to obscure his fascination with sex and violence under the cloak of art or propriety...not since Sissy Spacek burned up the screen in 'Carrie' has a De Palma woman held the screen as forcefully as Romijn-Stamos...There isn't a single wasted or empty shot in the film; everything counts." -- Manohla Dargis, The Los Angeles Times

"... a reminder that there is sometimes more to movies than character and story, that formal dexterity and visual inventiveness (along with a good score, in this case by Ryuichi Sakamoto) and some nice-looking people can be the vehicles of exhilaration and surprise...More than a quarter-century after 'Obsession,' his feverish tribute to 'Vertigo,' Mr. De Palma is still worshiping at the shrine of Hitchcock, as well as indulging in a good deal of auto-homage...The story, to the extent that it is comprehensible, is pretentious and banal...But Mr. De Palma proves that, in the absence of insight or ideas, some amazing things are possible...It is possible, for instance, to be entranced by a movie without believing it for a second." --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"This is pure filmmaking, elegant and slippery. I haven't had as much fun second-guessing a movie since 'Mulholland Drive'...Romijn-Stamos may or may not be a great actress, but in 'Femme Fatale,' she is a great Hitchcock heroine--blond, icy, desirable, duplicitous--with a knack for contemptuously manipulating the hero...She is also very sexy, and let it be said that De Palma, at least, has not followed other directors into a sheepish retreat from nudity, seduction, desire and erotic wordplay." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"'Femme Fatale' is sexy, witty, energetic and gorgeous, but it is as stripped of the human element (in some of its production design, as well) as a minimalist Calvin Klein store...The movie reprises many of De Palma's favorite themes--mainly body doubles and voyeurism, both of which are put through some alternate-reality permutations that bog things down rather than revving them up for the finale...'Femme Fatale' is an exercise in style over substance, which, in the end, is what De Palma is all about. He renders the frivolous fantastic, and occasionally ludicrous." --Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News

"... so chockablock with his career-long obsessions that it really should be retitled De Palma's Greatest Hits...The robbery scene recaps 'Mission: Impossible,' the peekaboo carnality recalls 'Dressed to Kill' and 'Body Double,' the night-world fantasias resemble 'The Fury'...yet 'Femme Fatale' doesn't really seem like a retread; its elements may be intentionally self-referential, but the overall effect is more voluptuously romantic than in De Palma's other films...it's a pure (guilty) pleasure trip. That's pleasure, De Palma-style--twisted, dirty, voyeuristic, a vast glissando of amorality." -- Peter Rainer, New York