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Best Heist Movie Since Remake of Ocean's 11: Moore is Flawless,
This review is from: Flawless (DVD)
Rumours have often abounded about the difficulties people in show business have working with Demi Moore, whether because of ego or conceit, somewhat similar to Bruce Willis. I have never met Moore and can't comment on that aspect, if for no other reason than I don't know if the rumours are well-founded. Her off-screen persona did sometimes come off as the direct antithesis of someone like Audrey Hepburn who always distanced herself from her own fame. Especially when she was married to Willis, Moore appeared to drink in the spotlight of Hollywood fame like an alcoholic reaching for another vodka. Now her star has dimmed somewhat which has allowed her to do what she does best: simply act in high-quality entertaining projects. The main reason Moore has been where she is has to do with her ability as an actress, not her celebrity. In the right part, Moore is as convincing as they come. And in this case she stepped up to the plate with one of the best clean-up hitters of the film industry, Michael Caine.
"Flawless" is my favorite performance by Demi Moore thus far. The film begins with a young journalist meeting an older woman at a modern tavern. In less than a minute, I realized the older woman is Moore with aging makeup to make her seem much older. The older woman says she has not been a free woman until now. Her story begins as a young ambitious executive-want-to-be in the men's world of the diamond trade in 1960. An American who was Oxford-educated, Laura Quin (Moore) had been dedicated to her job at London Diamond for a decade and a half as a high-end negotiator, but had been passed up for promotion on several occasions.
One crucial day, a massacre of slave labor in one of the diamond mines run by the London firm threatens to compromise their hold on the trade market. They fear the Russians, who have been in bed with the London firm as a way to control their monopoly, will back out of their trade relations as a way to show support for the laborers. Quin makes an interesting proposal: allow the contract to continue in secret and let the Soviets "pound their fists" toward unjust capitalism at the UN. The Firm believes its a good idea, but they also decide she knows too much and should be relieved of her position, since only people in the inner circle should be privy to such information. Quin is informed of her dismissal from Hobbs, the night janitor (Michael Caine) in a kind of clandestine meeting at a movie theatre.
Later when the two meet again, the hypothesis of stealing a small amount of diamonds from the firm's vault becomes the main topic of discussion, simply for the money. Hobbs claims he needs a pension, and she'll need it because she'll be unemployed. The vault contains heaps of uncut raw diamonds which have not been measured or cut, presumably straight from the mines. If a few go missing, a thermostat's worth, none will be the wiser save Moore and Caine. Even at a million pounds each, "They wouldn't even notice that much," Hobbs explains.
Like most typical Heist movies, the plans are made and the execution keeps you at the edge of your seat. The two seem somewhat ill-chosen for this operation which is one of the key ingredients of heist movies. However, what happens after the heist's completion is what turns this film from a good one to a great one. A remarkable twist occurs in the middle of the film, and from then on, I had no idea where the story was leading, which in my book is where a great film has to go. And the ending is convincing and satisfying. Moore and Caine offer outstanding performances, and the film seems to get more interesting as it goes along. Apparently, this movie was a box office disappointment, which is unfortunate as it deserves much more recognition than it has achieved.