From my Taki's Magazine column:
To Live and Drive in L.A.
Whatever happened to the femme fatale? From Mary Astor in The Maltese Falcon and Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity to Kathleen Turner in Body Heat and Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction, the silky seductress who lures some poor sap into her web of betrayal was the central element of the noir genre of moody urban crime films. But today, female characters tend to be either Butt-Kicking Babes or Passive Victims.
Noir is still around, though, as vividly demonstrated by Drive, an artsy, retro-1980s thriller fueled by a superlative Ryan Gosling performance as that traditional popcorn-movie favorite, the hard man with a heart of gold.
Read the whole thing there.