Today: May 28, 2024

Femme Fatales On Screen

With the upcoming release of Focus on Blu-ray and DVD on July 6, we’re taking a look at some of the most infamous Femme Fatales on screen. Like Jess (Margot Robbie) these wily women are known for using their charm and looks to distract, showing exactly why it’s important to never lose focus.

Lynn Bracken – L.A. Confdential
Played by: Kim Basinger.

Marking the highpoint in Kim Basinger’s acting career, the role of ultimate femme fatale Lynn Bracken gained her an Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress. Set in 1950s LA, Bracken is a high priced call-girl and Veronica Lake look-a-like who seduces men into on-camera sexual encounters.

Kathryn Merteuil – Cruel Intentions
Played by: Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Kathryn Merteuil is the calculating femme fatale, who uses her sex appeal to manipulate those around her. She makes a bet that her step-brother, Sebastian, won’t be able to bed Annette (a virgin, who wants to wait until she find true love). If he loses, Kathryn gets his Jaguar, if he wins, he gets Kathryn.

Catherine Tramell – Basic Instinct
Played by: Sharon Stone.

While being investigated in relation to a brutal murder, the dangerously seductive Catherine Tramell shamelessly uses her sexual wiles to enchant the detectives involved in the case. This classic femme fatale behaviour is exhibited in the notorious interrogation scene.

Alex Forrest – Fatal Attraction
Played by: Glenn Close.

After a one night stand with a married man, Alex develops an obsession with him, taking to drastic measures to gain his attention. Driven to extremes by her need to be loved, the character of Alex is the original bunny-boiler, cleverly stalking and manipulating her lover and his family.

Jess – Focus
Played by: Margot Robbie.

Novice con artist Jess becomes the accomplice of Nicky (Will Smith), a seasoned master of misdirection. While he’s teaching her the tricks of the trade, she gets too close for comfort resulting in Nicky abruptly breaking it off. Years later Jess, now an accomplished femme fatale, shows up in Buenos Aires while Nicky is in the midst of a high stakes scheme and throws him off of his game.

Mal Cobb – Inception
Played by: Marion Cotillard.

Mal Cobb is perhaps one of the most complex femme fatales on the list, as the dead wife of a thief who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology (Leonardo DiCaprio). While he is tasked with a dangerous mission of planting an idea in the mind of an important CEO, she becomes an unavoidable distraction threatening to ruin the mission.

Focus arrives on Blu-rayTM & DVD July 6

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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