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A young businesswoman plots a murderous revenge after her boss and mentor steals her idea.
For more about Passion and the Passion Blu-ray release, see Passion Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on June 24, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Paul Anderson, Karoline Herfurth
Director: Brian De Palma
» See full cast & crew
Passion Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, June 24, 2013
Brian De Palma's "Passion" (2012) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of French label ARP Selection. The supplemental fetures on the disc include an original trailer for the film and a short featurette with comments from director Brian De Palma and actors Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, and Karoline Herfurth. In English, with optional French and French SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
The style of Brian De Palma's Passion, a film based on French director Alain Corneau's 2010 thriller Crime d'amour, is quite overwhelming. Its two protagonists, both strikingly beautiful women who work in a large advertising company with offices all over the world, are always impeccably dressed. They spend a great deal of time staring at expensive computers, playing with smart phones, going out with elegant men driving luxury cars, and drinking expensive red wine. Both women also live in apartments that look like tiny replicas of futuristic museums.
Because most viewers cannot even begin to imagine that normal people can live in such a sterile environment their immediate reaction would be that Passion is like a long MTV commercial – too colorful, too bright, too clean, and too empty. Naturally, their next reaction would be that the film is a total misfire.
But it isn't.
The overwhelming visual style is in fact quite intentional. It is the first and most important clue in De Palma's latest puzzle. The people in this ultra-clean and ultra-competitive world are all like talking mannequins. They always smile, but their smiles aren't real. They frequently congratulate each other, but can't wait for a good opportunity to stab each other in the back. Keep this in mind while watching Passion and you will see how everything begins to make sense.
The plot of the film is also deceivingly simple. Christine (Rachel McAdams, To the Wonder) is Isabelle's (Noomi Rapace, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) boss and is hoping to move to their company's office in New York. She likes Isabelle and at one point even tells her that she loves her, but what her heart truly desires is the New York job. Isabelle is a workaholic who dates one of the company's biggest clients, Dirk (Paul Anderson), who is also a friend of Christine and likes to drink. The three often meet and act as if they are best friends.
Eventually, the special opportunity arrives and Christine is offered the New York job. This really irritates Isabelle because the offer comes after she submits a great marketing idea which Christine presents to her bosses as her own. Dirk also gets seriously upset because Christine informs him that it is time for him to return the money he has secretly borrowed from the company. As tensions between the friends rise, someone kills Christine.
Passions has all the key ingredients that make De Palma's thrillers so fascinating to behold. From the seductive voyeurism to the misleading clues to the erotic overtones to the effective split screens to yet another top-notch soundtrack by Pino Donaggio, Passions delivers exactly what a De Palma thriller should. The only difference here is that the film has a modern identity and a relevant message attached to its story.
McAdams and Rapace are terrific together. The latter often looks like a younger Isabelle Adjani, at times brittle and lonely, other times strikingly confident and dangerous.
The film is gorgeously lensed by Pedro Almodovar's regular director of photography Jose Luis Alcaine (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Bad Education, The Skin I Live In).
Note: In 2012, Passion was nominated for the prestigious Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival.
Passion Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Brian De Palma's Passion arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of French label ARP Selection.
The high-definition transfer is wonderful. Image depth and clarity are consistently outstanding, while contrast levels are stable. Color reproduction is also terrific - there is a wide range of lush but natural colors. Some of the close-ups throughout the film are so crisp and vibrant that they often look like digital photographs. Excluding one example of extremely light banding, there are no problematic transfer-specific anomalies to report in this review. Also, there are no serious stability issues. All in all, Passion looks quite beautiful on Blu-ray, which is why I am convinced that fans of De Palma and his work will be more than pleased with ARP Selection's technical presentation of the film. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Passion Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray release: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. For the record, ARP Selection have provided optional French and French SDH (color format) subtitles for the main feature.
Note: Please be aware that there are a couple of exchanges in German that are not subtitled in English. These are very short exchanges whose meaning is extremely easy to figure out that do not affect the progression of the story.
Pino Donaggio's beautiful orchestral score has a very important role in the film that is effectively enhanced by the terrific English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Fluidity and dynamic movement are both excellent. (The long sequence with the smart phone at the end is simply fantastic). The dialog is consistently crisp, stable, and clean. Also, there are no audio dropouts or distortions to report in this review.
Passion Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Passion Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I thoroughly enjoyed Brian De Palma's latest film. Its bold style reminded me of Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In, which isn't too surprising considering the fact that Passion was also lensed by the acclaimed Spanish director's regular DP, Jose Luis Alcaine. The film does not break any new boundaries, but it delivers everything a good modern De Palma thriller should. RECOMMENDED.
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Passion Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Brian De Palma's Passion Gets U.S. Release Date - September 5, 2013
Entertainment One will bring to Blu-ray director Brian De Palma's latest film, Passion (2012), starring Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Karoline Herfurth, and Paul Anderson. The release will be available for purchase online and in stores across the United States ...
• Brian De Palma's Passion Heads to Blu-ray - March 21, 2013
French label ARP Sélection has revealed that it is planning to bring to Blu-ray director Brian De Palma's latest film Passion (2012), starring Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, and Karoline Herfurth. The preliminary release date set by the label is June 18th.
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