Year: 2000
Production Co: Tribeca Films
Director: Joel Schumacher
Writer: Joel Schumacher
Cast: Robert de Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman
After the critical mauling of Batman and Robin, Joel Schumacher would have been desperate to get some kudos again. This is the guy behind some of the coolest movies from both the commercial and arthouse circuits of the last few decades, among them The Lost Boys, St Elmo's Fire and Flatliners.

Flawless was almost his way of swinging to the opposite end of the stylistic scale from the Batman debacle just to prove to himself (and us) that he could do it. Teaming up with De Niro as a producer to make one of the earliest films to come out of the Tribeca production company, he bought together two of the best actors in the world in De Niro and Hoffman and presented them in a character piece with only the slightest overtones of a thriller.

De Niro is a tough cop who lives across the way from a drag queen (Hoffman) in his apartment building. Treating her with little apart from loathsome contempt, he finds himself unwittingly in his care in most unusual circumstances. Suffering a stroke, he finds all his masculine toughness indignantly stripped from him, including the ability to speak.

Since he can't travel, his only chance is to call on his most hated enemy simply because as a lounge singer she can teach him to regain his voice and retrain him to use it.

A subplot including some missing drug money hovers in the background, but the only reason to watch the movie is the performances by the leads and the interaction of their characters. Both actors are frequently magic in any role, together they're the epitome of the craft.

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