Passion (2012 film)


Theatrical release poster
Directed by Brian De Palma
Produced by Saïd Ben Saïd
Written by Brian De Palma
Natalie Carter
Based on Love Crime
by Alain Corneau
Starring Rachel McAdams
Noomi Rapace
Music by Pino Donaggio
Cinematography José Luis Alcaine
Edited by François Gédigier
Distributed by France:
ARP Sélection
Ascot Elite Entertainment Group
Release dates
  • 7 September 2012 (2012-09-07) (Venice)
  • 13 February 2013 (2013-02-13) (France)
  • 2 May 2013 (2013-05-02) (Germany)
Running time
94 minutes
Country France
United Kingdom[1]
Language English
Budget $25 million[2]
Box office $1.3 million[3]

Passion is a 2012 erotic thriller film written and directed by Brian De Palma,[4] starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace.[5] It is the English-language remake of Alain Corneau's 2010 thriller film Love Crime,[6] but with the ending greatly altered. The film is an international co-production between France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.[1]

The film was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival.[7]


Christine, an advertising executive, is attempting to gain professional and romantic power over her up-and-coming subordinate, Isabelle, as revenge for her affair with Christine's lover, Dirk. Christine does everything in her power to ruin Isabelle's reputation and relationships. She also tries to fire Isabelle's secretary, Dani. Because of these events, Isabelle seemingly becomes emotionally destitute and develops an addiction to prescription drugs.

After Christine is found dead, Isabelle is arrested and confesses to the murder while in a drug-induced trance. Desperate to prove her innocence, Isabelle shows the police that she has an alibi on the evening the murder took place. Dirk, having been drunk after being rejected by Christine, is arrested after a scarf with Christine's blood on it turns up in his car. Isabelle is freed and Dirk is charged with the murder despite his denials.

Eventually, it is revealed that Isabelle had murdered Christine, and set everything up to convince everyone that she was having a nervous breakdown while framing Dirk for the crime. Dani, who secretly is in love with Isabelle, reveals that she had captured Isabelle on video with her cellphone at various moments during the night of the murder. Dani then tries to blackmail Isabelle into becoming her lover. That night, Isabelle has a strange dream where she strangles Dani after being seduced by her, but not before Dani sends the video incriminating Isabelle to the investigating police detective. Suddenly, Christine's twin sister appears and strangles Isabelle from behind with a bloodstained scarf. The next moment, Isabelle wakes up in her own bedroom from her nightmare only to face a new one with Dani lying dead at the foot of her bed.



Noomi Rapace was cast as Isabelle after De Palma ran into a director in New York who was interested in having Rapace in his film. The director gave De Palma some of Rapace's Swedish films, and De Palma was impressed by Rapace's performances.[8] He saw Rachel McAdams' performance in Mean Girls and decided to cast her as Christine.[9][10]

The film was shot in Berlin. Notable landmarks included the DZ Bank building.[9] De Palma used 35 mm film to shoot the film.[9]


Passion screened in competition at the 69th Venice International Film Festival in September 2012.[11] Metrodome, the film's UK distributor, sent the film straight to DVD and video on demand, stating that: "Brian De Palma has an in-built fan base, but a genre like this can be difficult to release theatrically. It's a turbulent theatrical market and we felt this was the best way to launch the film to UK audiences."[12]


Passion received mixed to negative reviews from critics and, as of 1 September 2013, is associated with a 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes—based on 59 reviews: "For better as well as worse, Passion is vintage Brian De Palma sexploitation—although with a storyline sillier than most, it fails to generate as much heat as his steamiest work."[13] Robert Bell of Exclaim! rated the film 8 out of 10, writing: "It's just unfortunate that those unfamiliar with the director's work will have absolutely no context for the abstract and oblique tonal shifts or the references, leaving them to dismiss the film as terrible."[14] Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave the film a "B" grade[15] and Alan Pyke of Tiny Mix Tapes gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars.[16] Peter Sobczynski of Roger gave the film a four-star rating, calling it "a spellbinding thriller", and DePalma "one of the great seducers of cinema".[17]

Neil Young of The Hollywood Reporter reviewed the film negatively, commenting that "the impression is that De Palma is indulging himself with homages to his own Hitchcockian greatest hits, with results that veer close to self-parody on occasion and emphasize just how far this once-outstanding director's creative star has plummeted."[18] Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times called the film a "sleekly trashy misfire".[19] Ed Gonzalez of Slant Magazine gave the film 3 out of 4 stars.[20] Bruce DeMara of Toronto Star gave the film 1.5 out of 4 stars, describing the film as "a pale imitation of the auteur's best work".[21]

Brian Clark of Twitch Film published a mixed review,[22] while Ben Sachs of Chicago Reader wrote a favorable review, noting that De Palma interweaves themes such as corporate power, advertising, sexual desire, sadomasochistic relationships, and longing for love with a musicality comparable to his visual style.[23] Calum Marsh of Esquire writes: "What makes Passion such a distinctively modern take on the now-antiquated erotic thriller is that it has a keen sense of humor about itself".[24]

Box office

Released in fourteen theaters, Passion was positioned in 54th place at the box office during the weekend of its release, with a corresponding total revenue of US$33,400—after four weeks, the film's total takings were US$92,181.[25] As of 26 September 2013, Passion garnered a total of US$1,301,226 in ticket receipts outside of the US, while the cumulative global box office revenue for the film was US$1,393,407.[3]


  1. 1 2 Hopewell, John (2011-01-26). "Brian De Palma finds 'Passion' project". Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  2. Schou, Solvej (12 September 2012). "Toronto Film Festival Q&A: Brian De Palma and Rachel McAdams on 'Passion,' 'Carrie' remake (he approves!)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  3. 1 2 "Box Office: Passion". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  4. "Passion". wildbunch. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  5. Jagernauth, Kevin (31 July 2013). "Watch: First 4 Minutes Of Passion Starring Rachel McAdams & Noomi Rapace Plus New Pics From The Film". IndieWire.
  6. Kenigsberg, Ben (30 August 2013). "Brian De Palma talks about his stylish new remake, Passion". The A.V. Club.
  7. "Venezia 69". labiennale. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
  8. Tobias, Scott (3 August 2013). "Brian De Palma discusses how his love of technology, ballet, and coherent action became Passion". Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  9. 1 2 3 Thompson, Anne (30 August 2013). "Brian De Palma Q & A: 'Passion,' McAdams vs. Rapace, Sex Tools UPDATED (New Trailer)". Indie Wire. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  10. Rappold, Nicolas (25 August 2013). "A Director Peers Into His Past". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  11. Zawia, Alexandra; Lyman, Eric J. (7 September 2012). "Venice 2012: De Palma's 'Passion,' Comencini's 'A Special Day' Premiere on Festival's Penultimate Day". The Hollywood Reporter.
  12. Seymour, Tom (9 August 2013). "Brian De Palma on Passion - Interview". The Skinny.
  13. Passion at Rotten Tomatoes
  14. Bell, Robert (12 September 2013). "Passion - Directed by Brian De Palma". Exclaim!.
  15. Kohn, Eric (27 August 2013). "Review: Why 'Passion' Will Please Brian De Palma Fans -- And No One Else". IndieWire.
  16. Pyke, Alan (5 September 2013). "Passion". Tiny Mix Tapes.
  17. Sobczynski, Peter (1 August 2013). "Passion Movie Review and Film Summary". Roger
  18. Young, Neil (7 September 2012). "Passion: Venice Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
  19. Abele, Robert (30 August 2013). "Review: 'Passion'? It's not visible in Brian De Palma's directing". Los Angeles Times.
  20. Gonzalez, Ed (18 September 2012). "Passion - Film Review". Slant Magazine.
  21. DeMara, Bruce (12 September 2013). "An indifferent response to Passion: review". Toronto Star.
  22. Clark, Brian (29 August 2013). "Review: PASSION, Great Erotic Fun That Doesn't Hold A Candle To De Palma's Best". Twitch Film.
  23. Sachs, Ben (12 September 2013). "Brian De Palma's Passion; or, hooked on classicism". Chicago Reader.
  24. Marsh, Calum (8 August 2013). "Is This the Return of the Erotic Thriller?". Esquire.
  25. Passion at Box Office Mojo

External links

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