Director Eric Barbier re-teams with his Le Serpent star, celebrated actor and director, Yvan Attal, in the tightly-knit heist flick The Last Diamond (Le Dernier diamant).
The Last Diamond immediately harks back to the 'good old days' of heist thrillers thanks to a great opening sequence highlighted with Renaud Barbier's rich jazz inspired soundtrack.
We're introduced to our fresh out of jail anti-hero, Simon Carrerra (Attal), on his latest 'job', which he completes with much style and ease. The jewel, however, turns out to be a fake.
Simon's partner-in-crime and mentor Albert (Jean-Francois Stevenin) bemoans that with the onset of modern high-tech security, 'theft' is becoming a dying art.
Nevertheless, with his parole officer closely following his moves, Simon takes on the biggest job of his career for the mysterious Scylla (Antoine Basler) - stealing the historical and 'cursed' 137 carat Florentine diamond, which is valued at 40 million Euros.
If the heist is pulled off successfully, Simon may finally be able to retire and live the quiet life he has always desired.
To get on the 'inside' Simon takes on the role of a private security adviser for Julia Neuville (Bérénice Bejo), a diamond expert who has been forced to take charge of the jewel's auction after her mother's sudden death.
Simon instantly charms her, gains her trust and is given access to the full security plans and literally the key to the diamond.
The heist just might go off without a hitch, but then there's Simon's growing attraction to Julia, the instability of Scylla's team of cohorts and the 'curse' of those who get near the diamond.
It all makes for a great thrill-ride, especially with fine performances from Attal and Bejo. The heist itself is meticulously depicted with the same suspense and high drama of the iconic burglary sequence in Jules Dassin's Rififi.
Like the grand film noirs of the 1950s, The Last Diamond is at its heart a poetic love letter to the masterful thief, his honed skill and craft, and unwavering code of honour. And with unpredictable twists and turns, it makes for a truly enjoyable experience - especially for those who love a good old fashioned thrill.
The Last Diamond is screening exclusively at the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival - click here for session details.
All images appear courtesy of Vendetta Films.