Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) [R] ****

Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan) is a smart, ruthless Wall Street mergers and acquisitions investment banker with a love of racing sailboats, sleek glider aircraft, gorgeous women, and priceless works of art. He's attracted to Claude Monet's 1908 painting of the monastery island of San Giorgio, identified as the first true work of Impressionist art. Of course, it's valued at $100 million and is a closely-guarded treasure at the Metropolitan Art Museum.

But Crown has a plan, and using a large-scale robbery as a diversion, he steals the Monet. Knowing that he can never sell the painting, and that he risks everything just possessing it, Crown devises an ingenious plan to hide the Monet so that it is perfectly safe, but not in his possession, at least not until the insurance claim is paid off.

Unfortunately Crown finds that Catherine Banning (Rene Russo), a beautiful, sexy, and tenacious insurance investigator for the Swiss insurer of the painting is on his trail. Crown and Banning begin to play a seductive cat and mouse game, and as Crown starts to fall for the woman, it gradually becomes clear that he cannot have both her and the Monet, and that he has a decision to make.

This is a far better scripted, directed and acted film than the 1968 film of the same name starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Brosnan and Russo have terrific romantic chemistry, and the museum Bowler Hat scene as Crown attempts to return the Monet is incredibly stylish and inventive. If you've enjoyed Pierce Brosnan in his James Bond roles, you won't want to miss The Thomas Crown Affair. You'll also want to check out this webpage The Thomas Crown Affair for more information on the film, including filming locations and songs used in the soundtrack. 

Labels: crime, drama, romance, thriller     

Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 72/100
Tomatometer (critics=69, viewers=77)

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