Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


PASSION (2012). Director/writer: Brian De Palma.

Christine Stanford (Rachel McAdams) is an advertising executive who takes credit for an idea developed by her assistant, Isabelle (Noomi Rapace). When Isabelle starts to assert herself -- and sleep with Christine's what-are-they-thinking? boyfriend, Dirk (Paul Anderson) --  Christine doesn't like it and humiliates her publicly. It all leads to bitchery of the extreme kind, as well as betrayal and murder. This is a remake of the mediocre Love Crime and is slightly better than the foreign original, though no world-beater. The film is more homoerotic than the original, but more likely because De Palma finds girl-on-girl action sexy than because of any desire to seriously explore lesbianism -- in fact, it's fairly exploitative and childish when it comes to the subject. The movie even goes so far as to present a lesbian as a blackmailing sexual predator! [In one stupid scene Christine calls an employee, Dani (Karoline Herfurth) a "dyke" and the latter lets her get away with it even though she just witnessed Christine kissing Isabelle on the lips!] Passion holds the attention and isn't badly acted, but it's nowhere in the league of De Palma's best movies, such as Carrie.

Verdict: Only for people who are easily titillated. **1/2.

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