Passion
weavers   fandango
Verdict: Stream It!     
Aaron's Review
Brian De Palma is back again writing and directing this remake of a French film. Using the original film, Crime d'amour, as source material, De Palma injects his signature elements into this story, like voyeurism, femme fatales, and a general inclination to have multiple twists in one film. Although the script takes some time to really get going, the second half is very thrilling. The story structure changes and twists keep happening, leaving the viewer less than sure about what they are seeing onscreen. Rachel McAdams plays Christine with spunk and grime; she is truly despicable in this film. Noomi Rapace is Isabelle, who has a similar edge to her, but still adheres to the general way she acts in all of her roles. She's good, but nothing out of this world. As director, Brian De Palma throws lots of great visual flair into this movie. He uses Dutch angles, weird mood lighting, split screens, dream sequences, and a myriad of other directorial tricks to subvert expectation and create intrigue around this story. Unfortunately, the structure of the second and third acts makes the film hard to understand.

FINAL VERDICT: STREAM IT.

Kevin's Review
Based on the French film Crime d'amour(from 2010) this remake written and directed by Brian De Palma is a fun, giddy pleasure that harkens back to De Palma's early work and the workplace thrillers of the 90's (think Disclosure). The script is clever enough and knows itself enough that it can be campy and over-the-top because that's exactly what it's trying to be. The twists and turns are many, but they don't always seem to make sense so that can be frustrating. Especially the end, which is a bit of a head-scratcher. That said it's certainly a movie you might watch more than once to figure things out. Every line has a purpose. We might not totally understand how it fits, but if you like the puzzle of it all, this will be a guilty pleasure.
Rachel McAdams has A LOT of fun playing an adult Mean Girl. It's been a while since she's played this kind of role, so it's a joy to watch her sink her teeth into it. And she does a terrific job. Noomi Rapace - usually a bit icy considering her past roles - shows a vulnerability that we don't often see. This is Rapace and McAdams' film all the way and it's a trip to watch them duke it out as opposing co-workers.
De Palma is certainly going back to his roots here harkening back to films likeBody Double, Dressed to Kill, and Blow Out. Passion is a thriller where sex is used as a weapon and all the characters love to lie and manipulate each other. It's up to us to determine who is less awful.

FINAL VERDICT: STREAM IT.

Salim's Review
Passion for all intents and purposes is Brian De Palma's attempt at a somewhat modestly budgeted experimental film. Starring two well-known actresses in Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace, this film may come to be considered either a cult classic, or a monumental failure. I think it will be sandwiched in between the two, although not from any particular pleasure gleaned from watching this movie, but more from the somewhat awkward scenes and facial expressions Noomi Rapace often makes on screen. The experimental nature of the film causes it to jump all over the place. It includes scenes that may be visually beautiful, but when trying to figure out why they are there, they just seem unnecessary. There are also quite a few twists that feel somewhat unearned; they were thrown in at the end too clumsily without good follow through. I enjoy looking at Rapace and indeed she is a great actress, but she just isn't as strong as she was in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I think she can play the dark and tortured characters like gang-busters, but all others seem unnatural. Rachel McAdams is great, however, channeling her inner mean girl. Brian De Palma is considered a master filmmaker with such great credits as Scarface and The Untouchables firmly under his belt. Passion is very different from these films. The music is reminiscent of 90s soundtracks, and the world has a wafting dream-like nature to it. For the first 20 minutes, I was on board with the aesthetic, but over time, the experiment becomes a bit of a chore.

FINAL VERDICT: STREAM IT.

Spacer