With the upcoming Passion, opening this August, we can add Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams to Brian De Palma’s decades-long roster of smart, sexy onscreen women. Of course, many situations in which the writer-director has placed his leading ladies have put them in serious peril—raise your hand if the power drill scene in Body Double kinda stuck with you. De Palma’s choices have led some to consider him a misogynist, or at least a filmmaker who sees women as disposable story catalysts in some odd, Old-World traditionalist sense.
That hasn’t applied to all his women-focused films, thankfully—either way, De Palma’s list of top dames reads like a pop culture history book: Angie Dickinson in Dressed to Kill (one particular preteen’s wet dream / confusing nightmare in one movie). Nancy Allen, De Palma’s wife at the time, in the exceptional Blow Out. His early years feature Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface and Melanie Griffith in Body Double, his later films star Rebecca Romijn in Femme Fatale (an appropriate title), Scarlett Johansson in Black Dahlia.
Now Rapace, best known as the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and American sweetheart Rachel McAdams co-star in what’s being billed as De Palma’s return to “sleek, sly, seductive territory.” (I’m thinking they mean “memorable sleek, sly, seductive territory.”) Here, McAdams plays a hardball boss at an advertising agency, whose protege (Rapace) makes some manipulative moves to get ahead, at her boss’ expense. Let the cutthroat corporate action commence. (Figuratively and literally, hey, it’s a De Palma film.) Here’s the latest movie poster for the film, click it for a closer look.
Passion screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and, as suggested, was received as a feature from De Palma’s 1980s oeuvre… Hitchockian and cheeky, reminiscent of his most polarizing work. But also outdated? We’ll have to judge for ourselves. In the U.S., Passion premieres on home and mobile devices (iTunes, VOD, etc.) on August 1, and then rolls in theaters starting August 30.