A Demi Moore thriller
preferred blondes, but in Flawless,
the brunette Demi Moore fills the pumps once occupied by Janet Leigh, Kim Novak
and Eva Saint Marie.
intelligence and diligence, she became the first female manager for a company
that virtually controls the world market through ownership of
Directed by Michael Radford (Il Postino), Flawless moves as efficiently as the story shown behind the opening credits—a montage on the diamond trade beginning with dark hands sifting for treasure in a muddy riverbed and continuing through the cutting process that transforms raw stones into the multifaceted gems that gleam from the fingers of women engaged to be married. The period details are well executed. Laura has a simply smashing flat with Scandinavian modern furniture and cool jazz LPs spinning on her turntable through the lonely nights. Alas, one can’t call the film flawless. The compression of the story doesn’t allow for character developments that seem tacked on for a feel-good finish. Still, Flawless is a suspenseful period thriller populated by characters whose potential was curbed by a world that gave them few chances.
tends to dominate every scene where
himself by reading discarded office memos, he surprises Laura by showing her an
order that will terminate her employment in several weeks’ time. “I have a
proposal to put to you,” he begins. She is appalled at the very idea of theft,
has no idea how profoundly he hates a certain well-placed crook in the city of
Flawless reaches its highest pitch of suspense as Laura sneaks into the study of London Diamond’s owner, slipping away from an elegant reception at his mansion (a favorite Hitchcock device) to find the code to the vault, and later in the seconds-count execution of the heist. Silent sentinels in the form of cameras watch over every corridor of the London Diamond offices, but Laura identifies a flaw in the system, one-minute gaps on the closed-circuit screen that allow the spry old janitor time to enter and exit the vault unseen.Flawless makes explicit a theme implied in several of Hitchcock’s films: the frustrated, subordinate and dependent existence of women in a work world dominated by men. And there is a familiar character from many Hitchcock-era dramas: the eerily calm investigator alert to all discrepancies and contradictions. In Flawless it’s a bird-like man with the apposite name of Finch. Are his appraising eyes seeing through Laura’s story or is he merely checking out her legs?