I had higher expectations of Brian de Palma. (He, that is almost exactly how I opened my review of the previous De Palma film that I reviews.) “Passion” is a fairly weak film with only a few interesting elements.
Isabelle (Noomi Rapace, ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’) works at a publicity agency. Her boss, Christine (Rachel McAdams, too girly for her role) is extremely manipulative. At first Christine seems to not only want to be Isabelle’s boss, but also her friend. Soon it becomes clear that Christine’s reasons are selfish.
Then Isabelle comes up with a commercial that makes her star rise faster than Christine’s, so the latter brings up the worst in herself to make life miserable for Isabelle.
This all comes with a fairly standard story and poor acting. Halfway De Palma has an interesting experimental scene with picture-in-picture, but after that the acting gets even worse and the language goes to German. Of course everything is explained in one scene towards the end and then De Palma goes into ‘Lynch mode’ for the closing scene, which is funny, but does not really seem to add much.
Actually all of the above can be summerised with one word: “poor”.