Foreign Film Friday -The Last Diamond (2014)


Small time thief Simon has recently been released from jail when a friend introduces him to a group of criminals who request his help to steal the legendary Florentin diamond. Simon is reluctant to join up with people he knows nothing about, but the temptation is too much, so he agrees to be their front man.

Julia’s mother is a well-respected auctioneer who was supposed to have been in charge of the diamond sale but her unexpected and mysterious death has left Julia with the responsibility. The stakes are high for Julia to host a successful auction with her own job and reputation on the line.

Simon introduces himself to Julia as her mother’s private security consultant, slowly winning her trust and the inside information his gang of thieves need. But when they start to develop feelings for each other, the heist becomes complicated. Not to mention Simon’s doubts about his unknown accomplices.


Obviously, I am a fan of French films. But I also really love a good heist film. So a French heist film was bound to be a can’t miss proposition for me.

As with all good heist films, The Last Diamond is filled with twists and turns, crosses and double crosses, keeping the viewer engaged and guessing through out the entire film. Just when I though I had the plot figured out it surprised me.  It is intricate, full of suspense and kept me wondering about the fates of both Simon and Julia.

Since this is the first foreign heist film I’ve seen I can only compare it to its’ American counterparts. I was expecting some witty repartee and buddy bonding like I’ve seen in the Oceans trilogy. The Last Diamond had none of that. In fact, the dialogue is sparse as this film prefers to show and not tell. This loose network of thieves are not friends but just men with a common purpose. Their meetings are filled with tension and unspoken threats to any who might fail.

The tone of the film is much darker than I expected, with more criminal violence. In American films of this genre, the thieves are generally portrayed as heroes, perpetrators of easily forgivable white collar crimes which injure only the the rich or those who have double crossed them.  This is not the case with all of those involved in The Last Diamond heist. Not to mention, if Simon is successful, then it will ruin Julia, a totally innocent party, who is already suffering thanks to her mother’s death.

American viewers might recognize Bérénice Bejo, the actress who plays Julia, as she appeared in the Oscar winning film The Artist several years ago. I always like finding a familiar face when watching an international film as it helps make it feel just a bit more familiar and slightly less…well, foreign.

Despite being slightly different that what I expected The Last Diamond was quite thrilling to watch and had me on the edge of my seat until the credits rolled. If you are a fan of heist films like I am, then I think you will enjoy it. However, it is not suitable for children since there is violence, language and some male nudity.  The Last Diamond is currently streaming on Amazon.

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