DELETED SCENE PERHAPS MIGHT HAVE "EXPLAINED" TOO MUCH?
SPOILERS - In Brian De Palma's adaptation of James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia, there is a scene in which Bucky tells Kay that Lee's tragic past with his sister explains a few things, to which she shoots back at him, "No it doesn't." A similar tragic story of a sister in the past functions to "explain a few things" to Isabelle in De Palma's latest film, Passion, but the viewer, and eventually, Isabelle, are left wondering if any of it is true or not.
De Palma a la Mod reader Patrick has sent in the ordered stills at left, reconstructed from seemingly random unused Passion stills that have been floating around the internet. These stills appear to show a brief deleted scene from Passion at the Bode Museum party. If you've seen the film, you'll recall that at the party, Isabelle spots Dirk up at the top of the stairs, and he signals to her not to let Christine know he is there. Isabelle then tells Christine she is leaving, but Christine begs her to stay. Isabelle tells Christine no, and that she will grab a taxi. This would be where the scene to the left would come in. Here is how Patrick imagines/speculates what is happening in each frame, with my own notes in red (and if you have any ideas, by all means, share them in the comments):
1. After claiming she's off to "grab a taxi", Isabelle first walks over to Dirk, and Christine spots them make out behind her back [Perhaps "making out" is a bit strong-- would they do that knowing Christine might possibly catch them in the act? It would be enough for Christine to merely spot a glimpse of Dirk in the area where Isabelle is headed to put two and two together.]
2. Genuinely hurt, she gazes after the couple walking up the stairs towards the exit [Or perhaps the first frame shows her watching Isabelle leave, while the second frame shows her spotting Dirk just managing to head toward the exit at the top of the stairs, as Isabelle is still climbing]
3. Being who she is, Christine quickly regains her composure
4. …and ominously plots revenge!
Patrick's fourth frame reading would perhaps indicate why these shots may have been cut from the final film. They might make it too obvious to the viewer when, the next morning, Christine tells Isabelle the story of her sister. As it stands, Christine's attempt to bond with Isabelle in this scene seems perhaps genuine. But had it come after the deleted shots above from the Bode Museum, the viewer might immediately sense that Christine is lying and plotting revenge. In this same scene, of course, Christine turns on Dirk, as well, and in between, makes it (almost confusingly) clear that she is aware of something going on between Dirk and Isabelle.
However, it has always seemed to me that in De Palma's film, Christine is more hurt by Isabelle's leap-frogging taking away of her plans for New York than for any indiscretions she may have had with Dirk. By leaving out the shots above, the viewer is left to speculate whether or not it was always part of Christine's weird scheming to put Isabelle and Dirk together-- and who knows, maybe even with the deleted shots above, maybe she had, in fact, meant for the two of them to have a fling. Going back to The Black Dahlia, think about the New Year's eve party, in which Lee watches Bucky and Kay kiss each other, and De Palma's camera focuses on Lee watching them, his feelings on the matter difficult for the viewer to discern. Has Lee been plotting for these two to be together? Has Christine been doing the same? De Palma sets up the long looks from Christine in Passion's opening minutes, as Christine watches Isabelle leave her house after wrapping Dirk's scarf around her neck. Is she already thinking of a Dirk offering this early on? It might explain a few things, but no it doesn't.