Passion

Is a Brian DePalma movie that laughs at Brian De Palma movies still worth your time? That depends. Passion does not rep the epic-sized DePalma of Scarface, The Untouchables, Mission Impossible and Casualties of War. And it's not the satirist DePalma of Greetings and Hi, Mom!. Or the boogeyman DePalma of Carrie and The Fury. Passion belongs to the obsessively kinky, unapologetically Hitchcockian, vengefully erotic dreamscapes of Sisters, Dressed To Kill, Blow Out, and Body Double. That's a DePalma that earned his cult following. Passion has all the elements, including girl-on-girl action between Rachel McAdams as Christine, the boss lady at a Berlin ad agency, and Noomi Rapace as Isabelle, the protégé ready to stand even taller in Christine's stilettos, even if it leads to murder. Based on Love Crime, the last film that French director Alain Corneau made before his death in 2010, Passion is sorely lacking in that film's sly wit and twisty curves. In Passion, DePalma underlines the obvious, overdoes his signature tricks with split screens and swanning camera moves, and more disturbingly hates on his female characters instead of reveling in their smarts and sexuality. I have no objection to DePalma laughing at himself. But his heart's not in it. Neither is his libido. Passion lacks the promise of its title. It's dead inside.

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