Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Movie Review: The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
A love story comfortably embedded in the high-glitz world of precious art, The Thomas Crown Affair targets a mature audience with a smooth vibe, eloquent character development, and only enough action to spice the story, rather than dominate it.
Banning cozies up to Crown to try and uncover his secrets, but a strong mutual attraction gradually develops between the two. Banning is caught between her job and her heart, Crown is caught between his crime and his love, and McCann would just rather be focusing on catching real criminals rather than rich men stealing over-priced art from pretentious museums.
Rene Russo as Catherine Banning almost keeps up with Brosnan. Banning is a daring jet-setter, fiercely determined to do her job and cash in the commission millions. When Banning finally understands what she up against with Crown, she unleashes her sexuality on him on the dance floor in a memorably stunning see-through dress. By pushing both of them over a forbidden threshold, Banning changes their fates and sets in motion events that neither of them control - not a situation that either Crown or Banning is comfortable with. This genuine emotional uncertainty in both main characters, triggered by unexpected passion, sets The Thomas Crown Affair apart, and keeps director John McTiernan firmly in charge as the only person guiding the outcome.
Two prolonged and well-executed art theft scenes at the lush and busy museum bookend the movie, the climax particularly dazzling as Crown cleverly outsmarts all security measures with the simplest of tools. The Thomas Crown Affair maintains its measured approach to the end, and builds its drama on welcome intellect and a credible, complex romance.
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