The Thomas Crown Affair 1999 Movie Scene Pierce Brosnan as Thomas Crown in the Metropolitan Museum of Art looking at his favorite paining he's about to steal

The Thomas Crown Affair [1999]

Behind the puzzling title, The Thomas Crown Affair hides a romantic heist movie definitely worth watching. It’s actually a remake of the 1968 film of the same name. This is why it feels a bit odd among other nineties high-class movies. We will be following a dashing millionaire who decides to inject some fun into his life by stealing a priceless painting. He’s then pursued by an extremely hot insurance agent and you can guess what’s going to happen next. If you told me I would be able to watch this globetrotting asshole millionaire enjoy his lavish lifestyle without groaning, I wouldn’t believe you.

However, The Thomas Crown Affair is so charming and matter-of-factly that you easily forget to think about this. Four years after starring in GoldenEye as James Bond, Pierce Brosnan was the right choice for the role. He had not only the right looks but also the mannerisms on top of being a great actor. Opposite of him we have the beautiful Rene Russo appearing nude for the first time in her career. Denis Leary was also excellent as the no-bullshit detective trying to solve the heist.

Finally, Faye Dunaway, who was the investigator in the original 1968 adaptation, now appears as Mr. Crown’s therapist. Directing this whole affair was none other than John McTiernan. The director of Die Hard and Predator knew exactly how to pace the story and deal with the action. The movie opens with an elaborate heist scene and ends on one too while the rest of it is mostly a romantic affair. It offers a look into the extravagant lives of the super-wealthy playing with the notion that money doesn’t buy happiness.

Something I strongly disagree with in a general sense but still accept as a contributing factor. In fact, I have a question for you: would our hot investigator have fallen for Mr. Crown if he wasn’t this rich? If you look at the events that made her start liking him, they all revolve around money and exclusivity. Then again, a lot of us would find great enjoyment in this type of lifestyle. So, The Thomas Crown Affair is above all a stylish and dreamy romance allowing us to disappear in this strange world where money is not an issue.

Meet Thomas Crown, a wealthy businessman who has everything. He has everything but he still feels something is missing in his life. Thomas wants an adventure that’s going to get the old blood flowing. So he decides to steal a painting not knowing that a special insurance investigator is soon going to be all over him. Her name is Catherine Banning and she’s just as gorgeous as she is smart. And so begins the game of cat and mouse where there only one of them will come out on top as the winner. Or will it?

During the opening fifteen minutes, the movie almost lost me as the heist seemed just too over-the-top. However, in the following investigation, all tricks will be revealed. Oddly enough, that same year, 1999, we saw another movie featuring almost exactly the same story. Entrapment follows Catherine Zeta-Jones, an investigator looking into a heist committed by Sean Connery, another Bond actor. So, if you like this sort of plot, you might want to check it out. And if you’re a Brosnan fan, The Tailor of Panama is an excellent choice with its exotic setting and high-stakes plot.

Director: John McTiernan

Writers: Alan Trustman, Leslie Dixon, Kurt Wimmer

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Denis Leary, Frankie Faison, Faye Dunaway, Esther Cañadas

Fun Facts: The painting featuring a man with a top hat with an apple in front of his face is “Son of Man” by René Magritte.


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