Tuesday, September 11, 2012

TIFF 2012: Passion

McAdams in a typical ooh-la-la shot
Brian DePalma’s birthday was today … TIFF CEO Piers Handling asked us to sing happy birthday to him at the Winter Garden before he came onstage to talk about his newest film Passion, a remake of the Alain Corneau thriller Crime d’amour about office politics and revenge. He seems a sweet enough man but even Handling seemed to struggle with the right adjectives to describe his work: I believe he used the words idiosyncratic and individual. I agree with that summation but that doesn’t always mean good.

The plot is too convoluted to describe so I will leave you with this very brief synopsis from imdb.com: "A young businesswoman (Rapace as Isabel) plots a murderous revenge after her boss and mentor (McAdams as Christine) steals her idea." Isabel is initially seduced by Christine's charm and generosity but balks at Christine's stealing of an advertising idea that is a hit with the higher ups.

DePalma has done wonderful work over a forty year career (Carrie, Blow Out, Casualties of War, The Untouchables) and then there’s ... Scarface. Some people love Scarface (and not in an ironic way) but for me it typifies the worst of DePalma’s excesses.

Passion is described as a "baroque" thriller that wastes the energy of two immensely talented actresses Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace. It’s hard to imagine the awesome Girl Who Kicked Everyone’s Butt in the Stieg Larsson inspired trilogy of movies cowering before the slender McAdams. But cower she does before McAdams’ evil manipulation and lies.

Rachel McAdams claimed afterwards that she thought she was reading for the role of the underling (that would make more sense in terms of physical type) but no … she was not.

As usual, with DePalma, there is too much of everything in this film: too much sex, too much violence, too much camp, too much emphasis on the rival women as potential lovers, too much lipstick (and gosh I love lipstick!).

The ending never comes too soon for me and we are fooled a number of times brought on by a Hitchockian crescendo of suspenseful music. Some might find this engaging. I wanted to pluck out my eyes about mid way through.

Personally my theory is that DePalma wanted to see two hot women make out. Yeah … and who could blame him I guess. 

1 comment:

Christine (the other one) said...

I got a kick out of all the times "Christine" was said with such passion/revulsion/general over-the-topness...nobody says my name that way.

That said, I liked it. ;)