Reel Shorts | Flawless

28 03 2008

Heist films are all the rage and this latest tale explores a passed-over executive teaming with a janitor to pull off one of the biggest thefts in London history in the crime caper, “Flawless.”

Told in flashback, Demi Moore stars as American Laura Quinn, the only female executive at the London Diamond Corporation. Beginning in 1960, the story explores the smart, hard-working Quinn who apparently has reached the top of her glass ceiling. Repeatedly passed over for promotion, Quinn is also surprised to learn from the company’s elderly janitor, Mr. Hobbs (Michael Caine) that she soon will be let go.

It seems that Hobbs, who has worked at the company for years, is the purveyor of all of the company’s secrets and as he is nearing retirement has hatched an elaborate plan – he wants to steal the very diamonds that his company has on its premises. He finds an ally in the frustrated Quinn, who see an opportunity to get revenge against the sexist upper management of her company.

Soon the two are going over small intimate details preparing for the heist. As the time draws near to execute the plan suddenly Quinn gets cold feet. But Hobbs, who has lost his wife several years back, is determined to get his “diamond” parachute. As the company improves it’s security, the two work together to try to secure the diamonds. Once the job is complete, the true intrigue begins when nobody, including Quinn, can find out the diamonds whereabouts. To complicate matters a shrewed investigator, Finch (Lambert Wilson), is snooping around and may have seen the two employees together. Will he be able to put the their involvement together to solve the case?

Moore, whose executive in this film is the polar opposite of the one she played earlier in her career in “Disclosure,” gives a steady and effective performance. Opposite the great English actor Caine, her character has been royally screwed over and although she fears retribution, part of her would love to exact revenge against her sexist superiors.

Directed by Michael Radford, the film crackles with suspense and mystery. Not neccessarily a whodunnit, but more of a “wherearethey”. Just how did Hobbs get the diamonds out and where are they?

While combing over nearly the same territory as an early London heist film, “The Bank Job,” “Flawless” falls just a notch below that fine film. After a satisfying buildup, the film’s syrupy ending detracts from its effective setup. Even with that said, Moore gives her best performance in quite sometime in a role tailor made for her considerable talents. They say that diamonds are a girls best friend and luckily for Moore a film about diamonds is just good enough to resurrect her career.

Grade: B-




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