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[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
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Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
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Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Lisbon
Fat Possum
LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

April 9, 2008
RATING: 7.5/10
Flawless is not your typical heist movie. Director Michael Radford (Il Postino, The Merchant of Venice) doesn't waste time with (or indulge in, depending on your viewpoint) the slick, high-octane set pieces of Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's 11 series. He also eschews the dramatic physicality of stuntman bonanzas like The Italian Job. Radford is more content to let his two lead actors, Demi Moore and Michael Caine, do the work to carry the film. Both are up to the job, the latter more so than the former, and as the plot slowly unfolds the actors' interplay reveals its own twists and hidden ambitions.

The film begins with Moore in old-face, playing a Laura Quinn, a former manager at the London Diamond Corporation, as she meets with a reporter to detail her life for a story called "Women Who Lead." As Moore recounts her history, the story quickly flashes back to 1960, but her life almost half a century ago was far from the swinging London of Austin Powers. Radford subtly sets the viewer in time through the use of wardrobe and Dave Brubeck's famous song "Take Five," instead. As "no blood for diamonds" protests rage outside the London Diamond Corporation's walls (and no, Kanye West doesn't appear on the soundtrack), Quinn is repeatedly subjected to the brunt of the corporate glass ceiling as she is passed over for promotion in favor of her lesser male counterparts. Enter Caine as Mr. Hobbs, the London Diamond Corporation janitor who has for quite some time been plotting to burgle his employers. Quinn reveals her discontent through a series of memos she's written to herself, and upon discovering the notes during his cleaning rounds Hobbs recruits her for his caper. When the shit finally hits the fan, we discover that the scheming Hobbs has nabbed more than the one million pounds worth of jewels he originally expressed interest in. As the movie progresses, a multitude of political and personal reasons for Hobbs' desire to clear out the entire inventory of the London Diamond Corporation's safe become wonderfully entangled.


This is Demi Moore's first lead role in some time, and aside from a small part in the cameo-rich Bobby in 2006 and the Charlie's Angels franchise its her first real film in a decade. Undaunted by rust, Moore plays Laura Quinn with competent if unextraordinary aplomb. Taking a cue from the bad actor's handbook, Moore's inability to pull of a British accent very convincingly has been written into the plot, which declares that she is actually American. On the more accurate side of the leading pair, Caine is his usual likeable Cockney self, seemingly game for any role and imbuing even his most serious lines with a nudge and a wink. Radford does a good job directing the duo, even if he relies on certain conventions, like the last-minute reveal of how the heist went down, to buttress the story. There's also a bit of a schmaltzy coda at the end of the movie, but in my mind its inclusion didn't detract from the picture as a whole the way it seems to have done for other critics, who may have set their sights too high. Taken as a heist movie and given the little bit of patience and some suspension of disbelief that it requires, Flawless is worth the effort.

SEE ALSO: www.flawlessfilm.com

--
Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other articles by Jonah Flicker.

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