Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Flawless

Michael Radford's leisurely paced Flawless digs itself into a deep, cavernous hole in its opening scene and never manages to crawl out of it. A sassy young female journalist meets an elderly woman who appears to be played by Demi Moore, though she's buried under so many layers of unconvincing old-age makeup that it's hard to confirm. The film then unfolds in flashback, as Moore—or rather, a comically grotesque educated guess as to what she might look like decades from now—tells her rapt young interviewer about the long-ago heist at the center of the film.

The film then rides the Wayback Machine to the giddy days of the early-'60s, where Moore's plucky striver serves as the sole woman among a boys' club of executives at the London Diamond Corporation. Year after year, Moore watches less-qualified and better-connected men climb over her on the corporate ladder. When her bosses co-opt one of her brilliant ideas so they can fire her and claim credit for themselves, Moore hooks up with enigmatic janitor Michael Caine, who has an ingenious scheme to make off with millions in diamonds.


Flawless quickly, bluntly establishes Moore and Caine as consummate outsiders united by a common enemy and a shared set of grudges. Problem is, they never emerge as anything more than the sum of their class grievances. Part of this is intentional: Moore is so consumed with staying afloat in a poisonously sexist, cutthroat corporate environment that she doesn't have time for anything resembling a personal life; all work and no play makes her a dull girl as well as a boring protagonist. Moore hasn't tackled a lead role since the turn of the century, and judging by her eminently forgettable work here, she hasn't spent that time painstakingly honing her chops. This is made achingly apparent by the return of Moore's distractingly awful geriatric makeup in a hokey fairytale ending so ridiculously sugary that diabetics will want to flee theaters 10 minutes early just to be on the safe side.

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