(France/Germany - 2013)
Directed by Brian De Palma. Written by Brian De Palma and Natalie Carter. Cast: Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Karoline Herfurth, Paul Anderson, Rainer Bock, Benjamin Sadler, Michael Rotschopf, Dominic Raacke. (R, 96 mins)
Brian De Palma's first film since the 2007 misfire REDACTED is a throwback to his stylish suspense films of old: hardcore fans will smile and nod at Pino Donaggio's melodramatic score (conducted, of course, by Natale Massara), an early split-diopter shot, and about an hour in, one of those famous De Palma split-screen sequences. As nice as it is to see and hear those things again, one can't help but think that the legendary director is just punching a clock with this one. It's a remake of Alain Corneau's French film LOVE CRIME (2010), but even with the uniquely De Palma-esque elements, PASSION is rather dull before the auteur finally snaps out of his trance and starts showing off. Few directors can manipulate an audience like De Palma and, at 73, he's at the emeritus stage of his career where any shots or scenes that look like his classic work automatically get a pass because it's just "classic De Palma." That was sort-of the approach he took with 2002's FEMME FATALE, but PASSION is seriously lacking that masterpiece's sense of filmmaking giddiness. It's very probable that FEMME FATALE will go down as De Palma's last great film, whereas PASSION just finds him throwing some vintage-looking De Palma bits at you and it feels more out of a sense of obligation than engagement with the material.
ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODY) as Isabelle's lesbian assistant who pretty obviously has the hots for her boss.