AND TWITCH CRITIC SEES IT TWICE IN ONE WEEK, DESPITE MIXED REVIEW
For the past few weeks, the front page of eOne's U.S. website had stated that Brian De Palma's Passion would open in Spring 2013. However, sometime in the past week or so, that was changed. The website currently states that Passion will open in 2013. I have tried several times to contact eOne about a date for release, but they have not responded. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, last week, Twitch's European editor Brian Clark posted a review of Passion that goes into some detail about the scene of Noomi Rapace, pictured here (so stop reading now if you don't want to know, but the spoilers are fairly minor). Clark finds the film alternately inspired and lacking in energy, yet liked it enough to see it twice in one week. "De Palma on a mediocre day is still more interesting than most filmmakers at their best," writes Clark, "and, despite all the ways it fell short, I still saw Passion twice in one week and enjoyed it immensely each time." Near the beginning of the review, Clark writes, "Passion is great fun, and occasionally kinda brilliant, but it still doesn't hold a candle to Body Double, Dressed to Kill or even De Palma's late-period fever-dream masterpiece Femme Fatale."
Here are some more excerpts from Clark's review:
"The ultra-stilted, aggressively flirtatious opening scene between Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams immediately establishes that we're in a world as far removed from nuanced realism as possible, which makes sense given the cutthroat-corporate-advertising milieu in which the film takes place...
"The script, based on Alain Corneau's French film Love Crime, isn't De Palma's strongest, and especially those with an aversion to dream-logic will probably have a hard time staying on board during the last half-hour or so. That said, having seen the film twice, I can say it mostly holds up, though there are a few baffling loose ends. But De Palma has never made movies for people who want every dangling thread tied up and every plot twist totally plausible.
"Also, While he employs every psycho-thriller cliché in the book, De Palma still seems to see the movie as more of a comedy than anything else. The performances often veer into kitsch, but Rapace and McAdams somehow make all of the veiled threats and passive-aggressive sparring hypnotic, rather than grating. In fact, the stylized acting melds perfectly into De Palma's fictional, over-the-top corporate world, in which every shot emphasizes a sense of luxury that is simultaneously exquisite, ridiculous and dull. Pino Donaggio's cheeky score, a scene-chewing blend of Bernard Herrmann and music from a 90's made-for-tv-thriller, only further emphasizes this odd, often very funny dynamic. The lighting too sometimes veers into soap-opera territory, which, while it compliments the overall style, will likely disappoint those hoping for the sumptuous, decadent aesthetic of old-school De Palma.
"But as usual, the film's pulpy kitsch conceals some extremely compelling subtext. The way that corporate ambition colors all of the characters' seemingly fluid sexuality, and even their sense of time and reality, is far more layered and intriguing than the film's surface-level style suggests, and, those who have accused De Palma of being nothing more than a talentless Hitchcock imitator may find some wry humor in the scenes where Christine explains to Isabelle that stealing ideas is par for the course in the advertising world. Moreover, the depth with which De Palma explores Christine's ruthless, near socio-pathic psyche is impressive. As the film progresses, he begins to hint at a fascinating, almost sympathetic desperation deep down, governing all of her decisions...
"...there are still a few genuinely inspired moments that recall the devilish ingenuity of De Palma-past. In one scene, Isabelle slams her car into a vending machine in a parking garage and sets off the sprinkler above, resulting in a melodramatic crane shot (complete with swelling score) of her crying uncontrollably against the car like a rain-soaked, heart-broken character from a 50's melodrama. Only, her anguish is the result of a sex tape, and she's actually only stuck in a small swatch of 'rain' inside a parking garage. It's a sly, hilarious image, right up there with De Palma's use of rear-projection for the beach kiss in Body Double. If... De Palma had focused more on subverting and innovating what he had already done rather than just referencing it, Passion may have been the 'return to form' he seems to want it to be."
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