Sunday, March 31, 2013

Passion (2012)

I watched Passion (2012) some time ago, and, alas, I was not so eager to write about it. Not that I found it dull or deprived of charm, no; the two leading ladies and their rage to devour each other, the mise en scene and certain twists and unpredictability kept me going while in the cinema. When the film finished, though, the only thing that stayed was a little curiosity on how Brian de Palma got interested in directing Passion: I didn't see it so much as his type of film.

Some research online led me to the answer: the mere fact of a "departure" made this film appealing to audiences and to producers, who came up with the idea of a future remake. No matter how cynical it sounds, Alain Corneau left this competitive world some weeks before his last-to-be film Crime d'amour (2010) or Love Crime was released in France. Featuring two of French cinema darlings, Ludivigne Sagnier and Kristine Scott Thomas, the film had also a career in festivals and later on in the art-house circuit, until it caught some executive eye. How exactly it ended up in de Palma's lap I couldn't tell for sure, but would it go so far if it was not hailed as Corneau's last film and if some spectators (especially French) haven't given it their preference only to render homage in the late director? Just wondering. 

Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace who play respectively Kristine's and Ludivigne's characters in Passion made the age difference almost non-existent. They also make a lovely duo, the best to create erotic tension, I admit. The scenario was tightened, the abundant French bla-bla was cut short and the film won in elegance and production values. Still, it follows the uneven path that de Palma opted for after his classic films. Once there was Scarface and Carlito's Way, now there's...Passion. He's got to have a good reason for this detriment (or retirement?).

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