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Wishy washy
Leofwine_draca7 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
PASSION is another disappointing effort from Brian De Palma, once again awash with his directorial flourishes - split screen, imposing Pino Donnagio score, Hitchcockian tone - but failing as a proper thriller of note. This one's essentially a two-hander involving Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams, friends and colleagues in the advertising industry who end up falling out over their career progress. What follows is overwrought and exceptionally cheesy, not aided by leaden performances from both actresses. De Palma remade this from a European film and he really shouldn't have bothered, because the end result is insufficient as a proper movie. It feels weak and wishy-washy, impossible to take seriously in and of itself.
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overwrought De Palma special
SnoopyStyle14 March 2017
Isabelle James (Noomi Rapace) has been working under Christine Stanford (Rachel McAdams) at an advertising firm for the last eight months. Christine steals credit for Isabelle's highly successful work. Isabelle is dating Christine's ex Dirk Harriman. Christine seems to take Isabelle under her wings and even making passes at her. Dirk had been stealing company money with Christine but she throws him under the bus. Dirk breaks up with Isabelle. Isabelle releases her ad herself and it goes viral. Isabelle gets the recognition and Christine's promotion evaporates. Christine starts to work on destroying Isabelle and threatening Isabelle's assistant Dani. Then someone kills Christine.

This is undoubtedly a Brian De Palma film. It is overwrought with plenty of his cinematic touches. He's pushing all of his familiar buttons. Rachel McAdams is basically an older version of Regina George. She is quite an expert on that type of role. Noomi Rapace is around the same age as McAdams. She has good acting range but this character may be better served with a younger and more naive actress. Isabelle needs to be a wide-eyed innocent before the twists. Overall, this is pulpy and unreal. I don't get the ballet sequence. De Palma may have pushed too hard on this one.
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Ridiculous Remake - Watch "Crime d'amour" Instead
claudio_carvalho27 April 2014
"Passion" is a ridiculous remake of the great French thriller "Crime d'amour". The screenplay uses the same storyline and has minors but significant modifications when compared to the original movie that spoils the movie. The scene of the murder of Christine in the original movie is unbeatable. The police investigation of the evidences is very poor in this remake. The conclusion is awful. The decadent Brian De Palma still uses split screen technique but without any brilliance. The two lead actresses of the original movie, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier, are wonderful and their duel is engaging. However, Rachel McAdams never convinces as an executive and looks like a vulgar woman. My vote is two.

Title (Brazil): "Passion"
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Little style and no substance
Prismark1012 February 2017
This German set remake of a French erotic thriller, lacks little of Brian De Palmas's visual flourishes apart from one ballet set scene.

Christine (Rachel Adams) is an advertising executive in the fashion world in Germany who is angling for a big promotion at her firm's New York office. She has taken credit of her assistant's ideas, Isabelle (Noomi Rapace) and the promotion is all but guaranteed. However this is now in jeopardy when Isabelle impresses her bosses with a social media campaign that goes viral.

So mutual jealousy at work spills over to their personal lives. Isabelle is having an affair with Christine's lover Dirk (Paul Anderson.) Dirk is also siphoning money from the advertising company which Christine has been covering up for.

None of the characters are likable, eve Christine has casual affairs. Once her promotion is at risk, she humiliates Isabelle at every turn and when Christine is found dead, Isabelle being a prime suspect.

De Palma is a long way from his glory days of The Untouchables or Carlito's Way. He is hampered by a modest budget and a script that he co-wrote. Too many times he has to fall back on dream sequences and just characters doing stupid or nasty things. For example what was that about Isabelle crashing her car into the car park columns? When Isabelle was given evidence of Dirk pilfering the company, she had enough to finish Christine off for good.

The film has a lesbian subtext which is weak but works better with another character but it still comes across as misguided.
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nogodnomasters1 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The film focuses on the manipulative Christine (Rachel McAdams) who heads the London branch of an ad agency. She desires to get transferred to NY. She has no problem talking credit for Isabel's (Noomi Rapace) ideas. Dirk (Paul Anderson) completes the third side of this love triangle. Isabel attempts to fight back, but is no match for Christine. The back and forth smartly escalates until there is a murder. At this point the film moves from a straight forward film to a who-dun-it, did they really do it mess which caused me to lose interest and enjoyment.

Brian De Palma fans will see similarities to his other works, which I though superior. Decent acting and plot, but it wasn't my cup of tea.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, brief nudity (Noomi Rapace)
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De Palma shining through
kosmasp22 November 2013
Not shining through all the way, but there are glimpses of him. There is a duality and sense of something bigger looming around, that makes this intriguing and just above average. Of course having McAdams (in a bit of different role than we are used seeing her) and Rapace being our hero helps a lot!

It's nice that while you'll find some usual clichés in the movie itself, it also has some ideas webbed into it, that are not so common. All I guess courtesy of Mr. De Palma. The complete experience might not be as satisfying as .... (fill your own fantasy at the dots), but it does deliver on the thriller part. A nice little touch at the end, still left without a big emotion though
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very much a DePalma movie
lee_eisenberg14 January 2014
I had grown disappointed with Brian DePalma throughout the 1990s and 2000s. The man who gave us "Phantom of the Paradise", "Carrie", "Dressed to Kill", "Scarface" and "Carlito's Way"* suddenly turned to overblown stuff like "Mission: Impossible", "Snake Eyes" and "The Black Dahlia". So it's a little bit of a treat to see "Passion". It's not as good as his early work, but the tension between the main characters is definitely what I hope for in one of his movies. In fact, DePalma tricks the audience by getting them to think that it's a clash-of-egos story...before the real plot line sets in. Far from her perky roles in previous movies, Rachel McAdams plays a scary executive. The viewer practically wishes for Noomi Rapace's character to do something nasty.

Basically, "Passion" has a hint of what usually made DePalma's movies good. It's probably not going to be for everyone, but I liked it.

*For the record, I didn't think that "Bonfire of the Vanities" was that bad.
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I'll see the French version
blanche-29 February 2017
I'm not a huge fan of Brian DePalma's, I'll say that up front.

This film didn't make me one either.

Naomi Rapace of Girl in the Drago Tattoo fame stars with Rachel McAdams in a German-French production. Evidently DePalma isn't in with the big studios any longer.

The plot concerns an executive, Christine (McAdams) who takes credit for an idea her assistant Isabelle (Rapace) had. When the client wants some improvements, Christine is out of the office. Isabelle doesn't agree with the proposed changes and takes her idea back, provoking Christine's fury.

Christine sets out to humiliate Isabelle, and does a good job of it. Isabelle is driven to popping pills, to the extent that she is in a fog. Enter murder.

There are some stunning sequences in this film, especially the ballet part. The movie has a lot of style to it.

It misses the boat in the casting of Rachel McAdams. I suppose this was done to get funding overseas; she's not the world's biggest name, but she is a name. She is very wrong for the role of Christine, a hard-edged, sexually kinky, manipulative woman. She was 34 when she made this film, but she plays younger, too young for her job; and the needed edginess in her is cute.

Rapace is very good, as one would expect. Christine should appear to be the stronger but because of Rapace's presence, she doesn't.

I actually liked this story, and I look forward to seeing the French version, which I imagine is better cast and more atmospheric. De Palma alas is too cold a director for me.
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It's OK
utgard1410 November 2013
Watchable De Palma time killer that borrows heavily from the director's earlier works...which in turn borrowed heavily from Alfred Hitchcock. Whole lot of borrowing going on. Still, that has little to do with judging how entertaining the film is and more about judging its artistic value.

My first impression of Rachel McAdams is that she was miscast but I accepted her more as the film goes on. Noomi Rapace is fine. I assume both women were intentionally directed to act in a somewhat peculiar manner by De Palma. It bears pointing out for those misled by the poster, trailer, or press for this film that it's not really the sexy lesbian thriller it's made out to be. That stuff only plays a peripheral role in the film and you never get any particularly sexy scenes between McAdams and Rapace as one might be led to believe by the marketing.

Still, it's an entertaining enough movie. Not De Palma's best but far better than his last two films.
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Mad (Wo)man - "All About Eve" meets "Dangerous Liaisons" - one of the year's worst.
george.schmidt19 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
PASSION (2013) * Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Karoline Herfurth, Paul Anderson. "All About Eve" meets "Dangerous Liaisons" could've been the pitch for this incredibly tedious and laughable corporate thriller from Brian De Palma (who you wouldn't know was responsible for such hackwork but for maybe one touch - his split-screen sequence which provides nothing but yawns) with ice queen McAdams as a cut-throat advertising manager whose nasty work ethics (or lack of) take its limits for long-suffering wannabe assistant Rapace while embroiled in a kinky lovers' triangle with Anderson (in full bounder mode at best) - resulting in murder, drugs, Sapphic desire and blackmail. The whole imbroglio simmers as a potboiler with the cook sadly offering flavorless broth. While based on a European film "Love Crimes" (which I never saw or even heard of); one of the year's absolute worsts.
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Passion play.
morrison-dylan-fan1 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Whilst searching round on the BBC iPlayer for the Nordic Noir series Follow The Money,I found out that the BBC had recently shown auteur film maker Brian De Palma's latest Neo-Noir.With the movie starring the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,I decided that it was time to find out how passionate passion could get.

The plot:

Running a leading ad agency, Christine Stanford finds Isabelle James designs to stand out from the pack. Beginning to work closer with Standford begins to passionately charm James. Initially supporting James ideas,Standford changes her mind when she discovers that James has secretly slept with her lover Dirk Harriman.As Stanford reveals her fangs and tries to bully James out of the business,James starts to investigate Stanford's relationship with Harriman,and begins to make her own passion play.

View on the film:

Rolling the opening with a shot of an Apple Mac,co-writer/(along with Natalie Carter) director Brian De Palma cakes the title in decadent glamour,where all the "perfect" advert images and shiny tech are a mask for the decay laying underneath.Backed by an operatic score from Pino Donaggio,De Palma and cinematographer José Luis Alcaine reflect Neo-Noir low-lighting with bitter dark comedy.Sliding spilt-screens and extreme close-ups across the canvas, Da Palma gives the title a surprisingly playful atmosphere,due to each deadly turn James and Stanford take in their bitter feud allowing Da Palma to twist homages of his past works onto the screen.

Inspired by the French Film Noir Crime d'amour, (which I've sadly not seen yet) the screenplay by De Palma & Natalie Carter gloriously threads a peculiar "Women's Picture" with crooked Neo-Noir teeth.Breaking into off-beat dream sequences,De Palma and Carter give James and Standford a soft shell which shatters into brittle Neo- Noir pieces as Standford's attempts to get revenge on James unveil a frosty Femme Fatale dame.

Looking absolutely dazzling in the long lone shadows and 50's-style clothes, Rachel McAdams gives a great performance as Christine Stanford,with McAdams peeling away Stanford's elegant image to fully display her acid tongue,femme fatale sting.Pushed around by everyone In sight, Noomi Rapace gives an fantastic performance as Isabelle James,thanks to Rapace giving James a fragility which hardens into a Noir shield of rage,as James reveals her passion.
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All I have to do is press send.....
FlashCallahan21 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Rapace and McAdams are bitter rivals working for the same company, in this return to form movie from De Palma.

Rapace is the underling to McAdams exec, and when the latter takes credit for Rapaces work, rivalry ensues. But McAdams takes things a little too far, and eventually it leads to humiliation, and murder.

If you are a fan of De Palma, the first thing you realise is that this movie harks back to his best Hitchcockian 'homages' , such as Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, and Body Double. And in my opinion, these movies are his best pieces of work (Carlitos Way is his best film, but his big budget movies in my opinion, are just side projects).

What you also notice is, besides all the technology (especially Apple), how eighties the film feels, and how sanitised the film, and the sets look.

But I really cannot understand why this has such a low rating, and why it never had a wider release. Yes its schlocky, and almost parody, but one of Hitchcocks final movies was Frenzy, and that was almost parody as well, and this movie owes a lot to that movie.

The film is very humorous, and some of the overacting is intentional, such as Rapaces maniacal laugh, and McAdams little hissy fit, add only to the whole fun of the movie.

But what makes this film so good, is the wonderful story, and the usual plot twists that Depalma delivers in droves.

Just when you think you know the plot twist, he pulls the rug from under you, and gives you a dream within a dream sequence, and the best part of the film, the split screen,showing you the lead up to the murder, and a haunting Debussy Ballet sequence.

A lot of people may balk at the movie, and yes, the product placement sucks, but its so good to see DePalma make another Schlocky movie with so many red herrings, once again.

Would make a great triple bill with Femme Fatale, and Body Double.
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Rachel and Noomi are watchable but the story falls apart at the end
phd_travel23 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This psychological thriller has some good points eg the two leading ladies and one fatal flaw - the ending.

Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace are boss and subordinate in a modern looking ad agency in Berlin. Liked the modern setting - the office and apartment. Rachel McAdams really looks stunning with her blond hair and stylish wardrobe. Noomi Rapace is quite watchable as her protegee in the office. The casting of Paul Anderson a rather wizened looking actor was a mistake. He is too out of their league for either actress. Someone more attractive would have been better for the romantic entanglement. The lack of chemistry made this a non erotic thriller. The lesbian kisses are kind of forced and awkward looking.

The Continental style mind games in the office and baffling dialog are quite fun for a while. Watching the battle between the two leads is quite something. Then things fall apart. The ending is irritating and too unresolved and unexplained. The story was actually okay until the last part. If only they had resolved things properly and conclusively it would have been passable.

Watch this for Rachel and Noomi but be prepared for a terrible ending.
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'No backstabbing. Just business.'
gradyharp4 August 2013
Brian De Palma has created such absorbing films as Redacted, The Black Dahlia, Femme Fatale, Mission: Impossible, Carlito's Way, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Casualties of War, The Untouchables, Wise Guys, Scarface, Blow Out among others and is usually a dependable craftsman of tightly woven movies that explore the mind of crime. So why is this film such a mess? Perhaps it is his re-writing of Natalie Carter and Alain Corneau's fine French film "Crime d'amour" with Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier that is at fault or the strange casting of Rachel McAdams and Noomi Repace (both usually fine actresses) in the lead roles, but whatever happened it makes for a very non-De Palma movie - and a thudding predictable bore at that.

Ruthless executive Christine (Rachel McAdams) brings on Isabelle (Noomi Repace) as her assistant, and she takes delight in toying with the young woman's innocence. But when the protégé's ideas become tempting enough for Christine to pass on as her own, she underestimates Isabelle's ambition and cunning -- and the ground is set for all out war. The use of the now infamous spying cameras and computer manipulations are stale, as is complicating the story with a love triangle with the drunken Dirk (Paul Anderson) and a vying for same sex attraction among the two women and Isabelle's protégé Dani (Karoline Herfurth). The clues to the silly crimes committed are offered in the first part of the film only to resurrect in the end in a vapid conclusion. Professional women who care about their perception as leaders will be appalled by this flimsy, thoughtless, poorly paced tale of humiliation and revenge and murder. Strange because McAdams and Repace are usually so fine when they have good material.

Grady Harp
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Rivals at Work and in the Boudoir
lavatch6 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Brian De Palma is known primarily for his potboiler thrillers. "Passion" is a departure into a more arty, European style in this remake of a French film. The results are uneven, yet very watchable.

The most extreme "arty" moment in the film comes at a crucial time when a murder is being committed. Here, the filmmaker juxtaposes scenes from a ballet performance of "The Afternoon of a Faun," based on Claude Debussy's music, with the crime as it is unfolding on a split scene. The overall effect was amateurish and lost the suspenseful build-up to the murder.

Another flaw was the clumsy pattern of a character waking up in the middle of a nightmare, which confused the audience as to what was real and what was the dream. The over-reliance on this technique led to a messy narrative structure. What are we to believe at the end? Was the mysterious woman appearing at the funeral Clarissa, the twin sister of Christine? Did Dani actually send the message to the inspector, or was that part of Isabelle's dream like the strangulation of Isabelle by the Clarissa?

Setting aside the cavernous plot holes, the character developments were good, as we follow the bitter "cat fight" among Christine, Isabelle, and Dani. Like poor Dirk, we as the viewers follow the action almost in a stupor because it is so bewildering. As the various characters experience their meltdowns in the rivalry at work and in the boudoir, it is nearly impossible to conclude which one of the three women in the most devious.

An especially revealing detail is apparent in the name of the corporation in which the three women work: International Image. All three of the women seem preoccupied with the notion of "image," which is their line of work. A central metaphor in the film is the mask that is favorite device for Christine in a personal life that is a variation on "Fifty Shades of Grey." But when the masks slips, each character becomes vulnerable. At that moment, Christine, Isabelle, Dani become extremely dangerous to anyone who crosses their paths.
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The Shade You Became
tieman6426 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Brian DePalma's "Passion" opens on the vulgar lid of an Apple computer. We then pulls back to reveal the equally vulgar Christine (Rachel McAdams) and Isabelle (Noomi Rapace). Christine, made up to resemble Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock's "Marnie", is an advertising executive. Isabelle's her assistant. In traditional DePalma fashion, both work with and sell images. They're seated in an antiseptic living room – corporate minimalism meets IKEA chic – every corner white, bland and soulless. The film's title, "Passion", then appears before dispassionate furniture, behind which are paintings, each with nymphets fawning over a third character. After complimenting each other on their "excellent taste", Christine and Isabelle spit out "organic wine" in disgust. To these two, nothing tastes better than plastic.

Enter Dirk (Paul Anderson), Christine's lover. Narcissistic, Christine forces Dirk to wear a mask of her own face whilst having sex. Later it becomes apparent that Christine has sexual relationships with an army of men, all submissive, some wearing dog collars and masks. "I'm tired of being admired," she admits, "now I need love!" The act of watching and admiring is itself the basis of an advertisement Christine and Isabelle are working on. With customary DePalma self-reflexivity, this advertisement involves a camera eye watching as spectators watch and admire it. Equally salacious is the name of Christine's company: Koch Image. Kinky.

Several "love" triangles develop. Christine wants Isabelle, her assistant, as does Dani (Karoline Herfurth), Isabelle's assistant. Bouncing between them is Dirk, everyone's plaything. These jealousies lead to a game of escalating savagery which, new for DePalma, unfolds amidst an environment of glittering fetish objects, the totems of a material and ego-driven culture. The film itself is based on Alain Corneau's "Love Crime", but DePalma's changed Corneau's central relationship. Corneau's plot hinged on a simple mother/daughter, old/young, dominant/submissive relationship. DePalma, however, paints Isabelle and Christine as equals, sisters, doubles, lovers, both the same age and both equally competent, intellectually and professionally.

This being DePalma, "Passion" is obsessed with eyes, cameras and voyeurs. Isabelle and Christine battle over ownership of a camera-phone advertisement, it's a sex tape recorded with a camera-phone which leads to Isabelle's plot to kill Christine and it's a camera-phone which will later incriminate her. Each act, then, hinges on the ownership of a camera, and the power that comes from being either watcher or the watched.

"Passion" is condemned for a last act dream sequence in which Dani is murdered, but the "dreams" start much earlier, possibly as early as "Passion's" first act. At the very latest, things break down roughly forty minutes into the film when, at 11:49, Isabelle overdoses on pills after being publicly humiliated (by CCTV footage). What follows is a series of sequences in which Isabelle kills, or fantasises about killing, Christine. She then wakes up at 12:49 and is sent to a jail cell. When she wakes up she's still in her bedroom, however, and its 11:49. She then goes back to sleep, at which point she's once again in prison. Moments later, it's 11:04. In other words, Dani's murder isn't the only murder which "doesn't necessarily occur".

DePalma's films have always "obeyed" dream logic OUTSIDE their overt dream sequences. Here we have repeated references to the myth of Medusa and "The Afternoon of a Faun", a poem by Stephane Mallarme about a faun who wakes up from his afternoon sleep and fantasises, whilst awake, about several nymphs who are "tinted by passion". This nebulous, dreamlike poem takes the reader through different levels of consciousness, until the lines between reality, dream, and memory become indistinguishable. The ballet (and Claude Debussy orchestral) of this poem occurs during DePalma's film (during Christine's "murder", no less), and portrays a man awaking from sleep and watching a nymph who in turn becomes aware of a watcher who is about to slay her.

This symbolic slaying within the ballet then becomes Isabelle's "decapitation" of Christine outside of the ballet, one of several of DePalma's references to the Medusa myth (a literal Medusa appears in Isabelle's cell). In this myth, Medusa, one of three sisters, is decapitated to protect and free a woman named Danae. The character of Dani, incidentally, does not appear in Corneau's film, and is entirely an invention of DePalma's. Other symbolic moments abound: the black screen before the ballet becomes the screen hiding the watcher of Christine's murder, women's shoes reappear, a police detective "forgets to apologise" after Isabelle insists that he "wont stop apologising", a phone which will "incriminate" is hidden where a scarf "which will prove innocence" was hidden etc etc.

DePalma's films often find women abused by the foot-soldiers of patriarchy. Ignoring "Carrie", "Passion" is the only DePalma flick to dwell on woman on woman violence. Significantly, both "Carrie" and Hitchcock's "Marnie" feature a daughter who wants to break free of a mother. "Passion" charts a similar course, with each of its three females at different points embodying the maternal role. The split screens in "Carrie", which occurred when our hero undergoes a kind of inter-subjective split (and social split), occurs again in "Passion", DePalma's screen splitting at the precise moment Isabelle is "split" into both good girl and bad, one a doe-eyed observer, the other an active killer.

"Passion" finds DePalma re-teaming with composer Pino Donaggio. Donaggio offers one good song here ("Perversions and Diversions", evocative of "Body Double's" "Telescope"), but it's woefully underused by DePalma. The film opens with a reversal of "Femme Fatale's" (another film with dreams signalled by clocks) opening and ends with a repeat of "Raising Caine's" climax, itself lifted from Argento's "Tenebrae".

8/10 - Burnt by the reception to two of his best films ("Dahlia" and "Redacted"), "Passion" finds DePalma returning to familiar, less ambitious territory. See Olivier Assayas' "Demonlover". Worth two viewings.
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I would have never thought McAdams could play such a sadistic dominatrix so well!
Hellmant8 November 2013
'PASSION': Four Stars (Out of Five)

Another Brian De Palma homage to Hitchcock filled with sex, murder and psychological thrills. This one stars Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace as an advertising executive and her protegee, who's rivalry grows sadistically out of control. The film was directed and co-written (with Natalie Carter) by De Palma and based on a 2010 French thriller called 'LOVE CRIMES' (which Carter co-wrote as well). Some find the movie to be too over-the-top, exploitative and ridiculous (as with all of De Palma's films). That's what I enjoyed about it though (and all De Palma movies)!

McAdams plays Christine Stanford, the domineering and power hungry boss of an advertising agency. Rapace plays Isabelle James, her new subordinate who's eager to get ahead in the business. When Isabelle goes on a business trip, to promote a new product she came up with, she has an affair with Christine's lover Dirk (Paul Anderson). When she returns from her trip Christine takes credit for her product and tells Isabelle "it's not personal, it's just business". The rivalry between the two gets more and more out of control as things escalate to a violent crime. The (at first) very innocent Isabelle becomes more and more mentally unstable, as she begins popping pills, and Christine becomes more and more vindictive and ruthless. Dirk is caught up in the middle of it as well as Isabelle's assistant Dani (Karoline Herfurth), who has romantic feelings for Isabelle and Christine knows it.

The movie has everything you'd expect from a Brian De Palma movie: exploitative sex, violence, girl on girl action and a brilliantly evil femme fatale villain. McAdams is great in the role and gives arguably her best performance to date. It's just great to see her doing something so totally different from her usual innocent romcom roles. I would have never thought she could play such a sadistic dominatrix so well but she's outstanding in the part. Rapace's role isn't as memorable and is more like what she usually does but she's still good in the part and a great counter to McAdams. If you like De Palma I think you almost have to enjoy this movie.

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A welcome and entertaining slice of De Palma style
Red-Barracuda17 August 2017
The loose story to this one centres on a power struggle between an advertising executive and her assistant. It begins with the boss taking credit for her aide's popular advertising idea and events escalate from there until things become deadly.

There is no doubt that the story-line in this film lacks a bit of direction, with the mystery/thriller plot thread coming out of nowhere in a film which had been a sort of melodrama up to that point. But to be honest I am quite forgiving of this because as far as I am concerned this is a Brian De Palma movie that unashamedly sources his thrillers of old and, as such, is a wilfully artificial story propped up with lots of cinematic style. I always enjoy De Palma in full-on style-over-substance mode and, even better, he is that rare director who actively admits that that is his prime objective. I think we get a little too much 'substance' and not enough style in our modern movies, so I for one am always up for a bit of De Palma action. In this one there is beautiful cinematography from the start with the piece de resistance being an extended split-screen sequence where we see events unfold at a ballet performance while sinister events play out at the home of one of the lead characters. And the ending sequence truly is trademark De Palma - camp, erotic, violent and completely over-the-top. It's all great fun basically. The two lead actresses Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace are commendably game throughout and ultimately, I found this stylized, hyper-real thriller rather a lot of fun to be perfectly honest.
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The worst possible excuse for a thriller
Robert_duder4 November 2013
Passion went from the promising start of a 7/10 to dropping like a stone to this well deserved 1. I had no pre-conceived notions and went into this nearly completely blind having seen nothing about it. The beginning in the film had me excited that I had stumbled onto a decent thriller with good solid performances from two very good actors. The script quickly begins to fall apart until I literally had no idea what was going on and didn't care. I can't even pinpoint when I lost it but it goes south very quickly. Classifying this as an erotic thriller is ludicrous for a couple of reasons.'s not ninety-eight-anything, which was definitely the end of the "erotic thriller." Secondly, this film is not erotic in the least. There isn't anything more than a PG sex scene which is fine but I mean Basic Instinct is a modern day classic because of its sexual tension and this film has none. I would imagine its original context (the book on which it is based) was a terrific thriller but someone on this film production just wrecked it.

The single only reason this film is getting a one from me and not a big fat zero is the performance in the beginning by Rachel McAdams. She is cold, ruthless, twisted business woman and pulls it off with terrific prowess considering we normally know her as the good girl (with the exception of her amazing turn in Mean Girls.) She balances the very campy nature of the film but makes her role believable and she was the reason that I initially thought that the movie might actually be good. Noomi Rapace has really shot up the star meter since her drop dead amazing portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in the original Stieg Larson Millennium trilogy. Unfortunately, since then she has struggled to really find a juicy role and this isn't it. She is ridiculous in this and her character makes no sense at all. She looks bored, scared and tired through the film and has zero chemistry with any of the other actors including and especially McAdams. Her break down scene mid-film is ridiculous and makes you laugh out loud its so awful. Karoline Herfurth and Paul Andersen are the supporting players and they do alright but are literally given so little to work with that it doesn't particularly matter much.

Now I wouldn't be one to personally say Brian De Palma was brilliant but he has been around a long time and helmed what some consider classics such as Untouchables, Carrie and Scarface (which I still haven't seen if you can believe it--I'm saving it for my 2000th review) De Palma has also done some erotic thrillers before. I don't know what it is when these former top directors come out with drivel like this you wonder if they were even on set or if they allowed their name to be put on it and just let some junior director run the show. It falls apart so quickly and has no style, no tension and it honestly feels sometimes like its unintentionally spoofing the already bad erotic thriller genre. There isn't any reason to watch this because even McAdams' decent performance isn't enough to save this drudge and total waste of time. 1/10
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Not that passionate, but not that bad either
bowmanblue3 October 2014
Don't be mislead by the title, or the fact that it is a remake of a French film called 'Sex Crimes.' There's not much sex and even less passion. However, it still makes for an enjoyable thriller. Oh, actually, it's not that thrilling either, but it is still okay - honest! It's about a nasty female boss (Rachel Adams, who may just be a tiny bit too young to pull off running a huge company, but we'll ignore that for now) who takes advantage of her assistant (Noomi Rapace) and, before long, they're at war. You may see some of the pitfalls that the characters have to face coming - some are derived from their own bad judgement, plus the film delivers enough intense and well-directed scenes, making the most of the emotionally empty sets.

Don't expect a masterpiece; I found it a little similar (plot wise) to the 1998 thriller 'Wild Things.' Here everybody tries to be in control and nothing happens instinctively or out of reflex, utilising a slow, controlled ballet sequence to strengthen this impression. It's not as trashy as Wild Things - it tries to be a little more arty. So, if you're in the mood for something slow and winding then this one might fit the bill.

Probably more a 7 than a 8, but I enjoyed it. Others may find it a little on the dull and lifeless side.
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dromasca7 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I went to this film against all my instincts. I had read already (some of) the bad reviews but I was hoping they were wrong. I so much admire some of the previous works of Brian De Palma (films like 'Scarface', 'The Untouchables', even the first 'Mission: Impossible') and I was hoping that all these critics got it wrong, that they missed the hidden quality of the cinema making of the master. Unfortunately they were all almost right.

I cannot really tell where 'Passion' starts to fail. Some of the problems are certainly with the script which tells a story of corporate corruption where guilty passions between the execs at the top slide almost inevitably towards murder. It starts like a corporate intrigue movie, it becomes later a crime story with touches of thriller, and it plays all the time with the soft erotic genre. All is however so superficial! I never succeed to get in touch with the characters which seem to oscillate between attractive and very attractive, evil and very evil. Eventually the whole story seems to long, and the 1h40 min of screening rather seemed to me like 2h40 min.

It's not that all good things we know about Brian De Palma's film-making are missing. The camera moves are always right and they compensate with the focus and clarity the rather conventional setting. For a few moments in the final there is suspense in the air, but the ending is unnecessarily complicated and with too many twists (looks like two or three alternate endings without adding thrill, maybe these were alternate endings and the director could not decide which one is to be cut out). If the mix of large windows with panoramic landscapes of Berlin and London and the so conventional background music would have been a little more exaggerated I could have even suspected that they hint to parody, like in the Tarantino movies, but I am afraid this is not the case. Is the film supposed to be 'sexy'? I am afraid it's just cool like in cold. Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace are very good actresses who have already proved that they can carry very complex and interesting roles, here they do OK sketchy performances, much less than I expected.

If you do not admire Brian De Palma you do not have any special reason to watch this film. If you admire him - as I do - you have the dilemma of whether to watch one of his worst films. Brian De Palma made a few very good films we all remember and a few less good we would rather forget. 'Passion' belongs to the later category. Maybe what is missing is exactly the Passion. The passion but also the patience for making good cinema.
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The narrator goes mad
chaos-rampant20 June 2013
DePalma's first film in five years is purely for the fans, a throwback to his sensual thrillers of old; Sisters, Obsession, Dressed to Kill. So right off the bat, this probably excludes the majority of casual viewers who will find this too messy and too illogical to be of substance. Younger viewers who simply pick this off a website, will probably see the visual tricks he pulls as weird, lame stabs on ordinary technique.

The problem is that DePalma has not changed as a filmmaker, it's the film norm that has absorbed and extended so much visual language that was considered somewhat radical in his time, so when Tony Scott films are marketed as ordinary action, of course he'll seem far less sophisticated. Same thing happened with Hitchcock near the end, when guys like DePalma where coming out.

But oh what sweet, sweet DePalmaesque inanity this is!

What DePalma is saying is always in the camera. He seems to say: this is a movie, the result of illusory placement of the eye, so why not go wild on placement? Also: the eye, by its very nature, causes narrative dislocation. He is intelligent, not in what the dislocations mean but in the fact they are shown to be at work, which now and then fool as depth in just the same way they fool the characters.

You'll see all sorts of fooling the eye here. The car crash in the company garage, first filmed as dramatic with lachrymose piano cues and the second time as comedy. Scenes filmed with dutch angles and unusual shadows to register as dream but they are real. A split-screen that lies about its timeline. A scene set-up to be viewed as hallucinative dream but it's a flash back. And later we know it was an untrusted narration.

Many others will make a more streamlined, more exciting thriller, but no one is so committed to expose cinematic illusion like DePalma. He doesn't hit deep, because the illusion is not wrapped around character but around plot, that is always the tradeoff with him. A tradeoff I am willing to make, because I can find more introspective filmmakers elsewhere. There is Wong Kar Wai, Shunji Iwai. Lynch, who brings illusion alive.

But then you have an ending like this. It is utterly nonsensical as story, but the narrator has fooled us so much we'll fool ourselves thinking it's more than madness.
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A very poorly made movie...
Irishchatter28 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Why the heck did they waste money on this horrible movie?! Yeah sure, it's added in a lot of sex scene's and thriller action but that's not enough to make a proper movie! I really thought it was gonna be good because I do like crime drama with romance films but, this is definitely a let down!

The background such as the house, looks so much like it's meant to be for a cleaning advertisement, not for a thriller crime movie. The actors looked like they weren't confident enough to be involved in the film! I say, they all hated just being in this crappy film.

I can't talk anymore, this movie is terrible!
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A movie that keeps you guessing and stays one step ahead of you. Super entertaining and I highly recommend this. I say A-
cosmo_tiger16 September 2013
"There's no backstabbing here, it's just business." Christine (McAdams) and Isabelle (Rapace) are ad executives who have friendly relationship. After coming up with a great ad idea for jeans Isabelle is sent to London to pitch it. When it becomes a hit and is picked up Christine takes the credit. This event begins a chain reaction of trying to one up the other that quickly spirals out of control. I have been watching as many movies as I can without seeing the trailer first, that way I have no preconceived expectations. That said knowing Noomi Rapace was in this and Brian De Palma directed this I was excited. I was not disappointed at all. De Palma is the master of the erotic thriller and he again proves why with this movie. The beginning is a little slow but you will be glad you stuck with it. Because I watch so many movies I am getting very good at predicting how a movie will play out. This is one that was consistently one step ahead of me and as soon as I thought I knew what was going on I was proved wrong. To me that is what makes a good movie, being surprised with how it will go keeps you watching and wondering. I am very surprised at how much I enjoyed this. I highly recommend this. I give it an A-.
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The performances make this ponderous film tolerable
callanvass28 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I like Brian DePalma a lot. I love Rachel McAdams, and I like Noomi Rapice. You would think that would mean success, right? Not necessarily. I found this to be a trivial experience for the most part. It's paced inconsistently, and the storyline gets more ludicrous as it goes along. DePalma has regressed heavily as of these days. It seems he's no longer capable of making memorable, stylish thrillers like he used to. This isn't completely void of suspense. It does have some here and there. There are a couple of vivid dream sequences from Noomi Rapice that I thought were extremely well shot. It's just too bad they were a bit overlong. My main problem with this movie, aside from the leaden pacing issues, is that everyone in this movie is cold and unlikable. There are no heroes or heroines; everything is shades of Grey, and not in a good way. Rachel McAdams is absolutely fabulous as a manipulative witch. Her character is easy to detest, but she's so sexy, I couldn't help but love her. I think Rachel is seriously one of the most underrated actresses of this generation. Noomi Rapice is excellent as well in a more subtle manner. Her character goes through many emotions, and she conveyed them all very well. She is technically the heroine of this movie, but she's not very sympathetic. She does some shady things. Karoline Herfurth is solid in her role. She has some great scenes in the finale. The ending is a tad annoying, and slightly confusing, but I have to say. The ending is also without a doubt DePalma's most stylish work in this movie. He did some extremely chilling shots of Rachel McAdams. It actually frightened me a little bit. The question is where was this dynamic direction during the rest of the film?

Final Thoughts: Rachel McAdams utters the line "Let's not fall asleep at the switch here" That's exactly what Brian DePalma did during this movie. Aside from a couple things, and a few decent moments scattered in places, I didn't care for this movie at all. The performances make it bearable, but the movie itself is rather average. I hope Brian DePalma isn't done

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