TIFF Review: Passion

Photo credit: SBS Films

Writer & Director: Brian De Palma
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Paul Anderson, Karoline Herfurth

After a five-year absence, director Brian De Palma returns with an erotic thriller entitled ‘Passion’, a remake of the 2010 French film ‘Love Crime’. ‘Passion’ tells the story of two advertising execs working on a cell phone marketing campaign. Isabelle (Noomi Rapace) develops and ingenious idea only to have it stolen by her mentor and boss Christine (Rachel McAdams). Christine furthers humiliates Isabelle in front of her colleagues pushing her to seek revenge.

Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams in Passion. Photo credit: SBS Films

McAdams and Rapace have fantastic on-screen chemistry and take to their roles amazingly well. McAdams is already well-known for playing Regina George in ‘Mean Girls’, the queen bee of a popular high school clique. So it is no surprise that she was extremely convincing in the role of the scheming and backstabbing Christine. The cinematography was wonderful and featured some creative shots – I enjoyed De Palma’s use of split screen shots as well as his choice of moody and de-saturated lighting for scenes later in the film. Though campy at times, ‘Passion’ has the feel of a film noir or a Hitchock film.

Following the TIFF screening, De Palma did a Q&A session with the audience. I enjoyed his explanation regarding his use of lighting which had a few of the audience members, including myself wondering whether certain scenes were actually taking place or were in fact dream sequences. When asked about advice for new filmmakers, he stated that anyone wanting to make a movie needed to go write a screenplay, cast their film, shoot it, edit it on their MacBook and figure out how to get it seen. He did mention that the whole process involved a bit of luck and stressed that mis-casting roles was one of the biggest mistakes anyone could make.

‘Passion’ opens September 29 at the New York Film Festival.

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