T is for Thomas Crown

As in The Thomas Crown Affair. The 1999 remake starring our old chum and former Bond (though he was still Bond at the time) Pierce Brosnan, along with Rene Russo and Denis Leary.

6.8 stars on IMDb. Six. Point. Eight. *shakes head in disgust*. Seven minutes short of two hours and *so* much fun.

I adore a good heist movie – Ocean’s Eleven, Inside Man, The Italian Job (yes, both the original and the remake – more on *that* little gem another day), Point Break, Heat, A Fish Called Wanda and of course, Die Hard, which was also directed by John McTiernan. It’s almost like I’ve planned this, eh?

I’ve not seen the original Thomas Crown Affair – 1968, clocking in with seven stars on IMDb (maybe I should give it a go) and starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Dunaway makes a cameo in the newer movie as Crown’s psychologist – she had Russo’s role in the original.

The plot then. Billionaire financier Thomas Crown is also an art thief. One day he steals $100 million painting from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York – Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk . The insurance company send in an investigator, Catherine Banning (Russo) who works with the NYPD’s Detective Michael McCann (Leary) to investigate whodunnit.

Attention quickly turns to one Thomas Crown…

The heists are… audacious and show a lovely touch – there’s a constant theme of misdirection througout the movie.

Banning: Make a lot of noise over *there*, so over here in *this* room you can take a hundred million off the wall and waltz right out the front door…

The dialogue crackles and fizzes, with Brosnan and Russo sparring and Leary left to tag along behind.

Oh, and there’s *that* dress. *fans self*

Crown: This is a black and white ball.
Banning: That’s okay, I wasn’t invited anyway.

It all comes to a head when Thomas goes to put the Monet back. Crown walks into the museum, knowing full well that Banning has gone to the cops. Everyone is watching as he stands in the foyer, wearing a long grey coat and carrying a briefcase and a bowler hat. He pauses, arms raised to the side and turns for the cameras.

Crown: Let’s play ball…

What follows is five minutes of sheer delight. Crown and a dozen other men in identical hats and coats (René Magritte’s The Son of Man also turns up, a painting which features a faceless man wearing a grey coat and hat) play cat and mouse with the museum staff and the NYPD.

There’s a reveal (the Crown Acquisitions pencils were a lovely touch) and just when you think you’ve seen it, BOOM. Now, how did he do *that*? And all to the tune of the incomparable Nina Simone singing Sinnerman.

Wonderful stuff.

previously, on The A-Z Challenge
A is for Alien
B is for The Breakfast Club
C is for Catching Fire
D is for Die Hard
E is for The Empire Strikes Bank
F is for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
G is for Goldfinger (and GoldenEye)
H is for Howl’s Moving Castle
I is for Inception
J is for Jurassic Park
K is for Kung Fu Panda
L is for Labyrinth
M is for Moon
N is for National Treasure
O is for Oldboy
P is for Pitch Black
Q is for Quantum of Solace
R is for The Raid
S is for Smokey and the Bandit

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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