Femme Fatale Review by Dave Smith
Brian DePalma is a film buff. Most of his films pay homage in some way to the great screen classics of the past. His "Obsession" (1976) is clearly a remake of Hitchcock's "Vertigo." "Dressed to Kill" (1980) pays homage to Hitchcock's "Psycho." His "The Untouchables" (1987), features a staircase scene, complete with baby carriage, taken directly from Eisenstein's famous Odessa steps sequence from "Potemkin" (1925). In his latest film, he is inspired by Billy Wilder's film noir masterpiece, "Double Indemnity" (1944). "Femme Fatale" opens with Rebecca Romijn-Stamos lying nude on a bed watching femme fatale Barbara Stanwyck seduce hapless Fred MacMurray. Later we see that Rebecca is a bisexual. In real life, Ms. Stanwyck was purported to be bisexual. Like Stanwyck's character in "Double Indemnity," Romijn-Stamos is unrelenting evil. She is capable of double-crossing anyone, including the man she loves. DePalma wrote the script for this one unassisted, which is something he usually does not do. This is the biggest weakness of this film. The plot is too contrived to be remotely believable. The saving grace for this film, if there is one, is DePalma's use of the camera (with the help of his French cameraman Thierry Arbogast). DePalma's early hit "Carrie" showed off his ability to come up with some fantastic camera work and this film will not disappoint in that respect. Whether or not the film is worth seeing for that reason alone is doubtful.