Laure Ash (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) is a very bad American girl who does very bad things. She steals diamonds from an actress at the Cannes Film Festival cheats her partners in crime wears a lot of very suggestive underwear and has lots and lots of manipulative sex with women and with men. Set mainly in Belleville France and spanning seven years--twice--Femme Fatale asks whether or not leopards can change their spots and if they can what does it take? Meeting a nice girl who just lost her husband and child--and who happens to look just like you--sure can help although if you choose to steal her passport and identity after you watch her blow her brains out odds are your leopard-skin lingerie is there to stay. Of course all any proper bad girl really needs to turn her black heart to gold is the love of a good man so when Nicholas Bardo (Antonio Banderas) ex-paparazzo enters the picture we know it's only a matter of time before Laure comes to her senses.
Stamos (Rollerball) is a bad bad girl in Femme Fatale and she's got a bit of a reputation as a bad bad actress in real life which is largely the reason for the poor pre-release press this film has received much to director Brian De Palma's (Mission to Mars) chagrin. But believe it or not she's not completely horrible in the film which required her to speak French (she did passably well) strip to her skivvies (she did remarkably well--more than once) and play multiple characters. The scenes between Stamos and the slickly charming brooding Banderas (Original Sin) are the highlights of the film but sometimes Banderas is so campy that it throws the whole thing off kilter. Why in the heck is Banderas prancing around and lisping pretending to be gay and eliciting chuckles and sometimes even outright laughter from the audience? I mean he's funny and he makes the scene funny and hey I laughed. But this is supposed to be noir. You're not supposed to laugh.
Banderas' schizophrenic performance is merely a symptom of Femme Fatale's fatal flaw: it's a derivative film that just can't decide what it wants to be. It tries to be a sexy tale of the twisted woman à la Basic Instinct but Stamos just doesn't have enough mystique about her to pull that off (shedding her clothes at every possible moment doesn't help). It strives to be an edge-of-your-seat thriller but unlike The Sixth Sense a film whose surprise ending left audiences wanting to see the movie again to check for clues the revelation at the end of Femme Fatale leaves you feeling like an idiot because you should have seen it coming. After the twist the film tells the same story a second time with the heroine making a different choice and thereby changing the life we thought she had lived (Sliding Doors anyone?). It's interesting to analyze Femme Fatale as a pastiche of modern filmmaking but taken as a whole the movie's got a lot less going for it than any of the films it tries to emulate.
Sigourney Weaver is in negotiations to do the fifth installment of the "Alien" series -- for a mere $15 million, as reported by London's Sunday Express.
This time around the story will finally be set on Earth. Weaver's character, Ripley, was last seen heading to Earth as a cloned version of herself in the 1997 "Alien Resurrection." The film is planned to be released 2004, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the original "Alien."
Weaver will also executive produce the flick, written by Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer").
BANDERAS "FEMME" SIDE: Spanish hunk Antonio Banderas has signed on to star in director Brian De Palma's French noir thriller "Femme Fatale." He'll be playing a paparazzo. Despite a four-month search, the female lead has yet to be cast, though a choice is expected soon. Shooting begins March 12, primarily on location in Paris and Cannes (some of the action takes place during the festival). De Palma's most recent film was last year's poorly received "Mission to Mars," but producer Marina Gefter says "Femme" harkens back to De Palma's early filmmaking, such as "Dressed to Kill" and "The Untouchables."
SEDGWICK, BACON A TEAM: Real-life couple Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon will star in Showtime's "Cavedweller," an adaptation on Dorothy Allison's best-selling novel. The story revolves around a rock star (Sedgwick) who goes back home to Georgia to reconnect with her daughters she left behind 10 years earlier, escaping from an abusive husband. Bacon stars as another rock star attracted to Sedgwick's character. Bacon was seen in last year's sci-fi extravangza "Hollow Man" and Sedgwick last film was the independent "What's Cooking?," which was released at end of last year.
LEVY EATS "PIE II": Eugene Levy is getting his biggest payday to date, with his deal to star in Universal's "American Pie II" -- netting nearly a seven-figure sum. He will again be playing the father of Jim (Jason Biggs) from the original "American Pie." Levy was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for co-writing the hilarious "Best in Show" and will be seen in the upcoming Chris Rock comedy "Down To Earth," opening Feb. 16.