New York Film Festival Preview: Passion

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaSVR4pCKT4]

Screenings:

Saturday, September 29, 9pm (Alice Tully Hall)

Saturday, October 6, 9pm (Walter Reade Theater)

Thursday, October 11, 3:15pm (Francesca Beale Theater)

Venue: Lincoln Center, NYC

Series: NYFF50: Main Slate

In the highly competitive world of advertising, Christine (Rachel McAdams) takes credit for an idea had by her underling Isabelle (Noomi Rapace), which results in a downward (and deadly) spiral for all involved. Passion is adapted from the 2010 French film Love Crime (dir. Alain Corneau). Directed by Brian De Palma—the same man who birthed such gritty and violent films as Carrie (1976), Scarface (1983), and The Untouchables (1987)—this movie will not live up to the “classic” status of its siblings. Upon watching Passion, one immediate question comes to mind: Mr. De Palma, what the hell were you thinking?

In a film that is perhaps best described as a sleazy late-night “skinemax” movie with less skin, the opening close-up shot of the Apple logo is as sordid and egregious as the lingerie, cheesy saxophone music, posh locales, lipstick, backstabbing, and sex that permeate this poorly written and badly acted movie. McAdams reprises some of the same manipulative and tawdry traits as her character in Mean Girls (2004), but they are less appealing to watch here. And given the setting of an ad agency (the advertising industry is grossly misrepresented, by the way), the Apple logo, which makes a second appearance later in the movie, reveals a film that is all-too aware of itself. This “meta” device, which could have been used cleverly falls flat instantly. Additional miscues in the film’s story include some nonsensical character motivations; some moments of “really?? are you serious??”; and a sloppy, head-scratching error regarding a very important item towards the end of the film. If the purpose of this movie is to be really, really bad, then this movie is really, really good.

Limité Rating: 1/5

Director: Brian De Palma

Genres: Narrative, Drama, Thriller

Countries: France/Germany

Language: English

Runtime: 100 min.

The 50th New York Film Festival runs from September 28 – October 14, 2012.

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