Passion is a 2013 thriller film by Brian De Palma, starring Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, and Paul Anderson. It was nominated for the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival, but received mix reviews from movie critics.The plot concerns the relationship between the head of a highly successful advertising company, Christine (McAdams) and her right-hand woman, Isabelle (Rapace). At first they seem to get along well, but Christine's treatment of Isabelle becomes increasingly unacceptable. When Isabelle retaliates, things escalate and a major character is found murdered.
Ambiguously Gay: Christine at first seems to be this, as men appear to annoy her or fail to satisfy her, and moreover, she proclaims her love for Isabelle, though it's almost certainly false. She does have an obvious physical attraction to her, though.
Caught on Tape: Everything that Isabelle does in preparation for the murder, including the act itself, are revealed to have been recorded secretly by Dani.
Chekhov's Gun: The scarf Christine gives to Isabelle at the beginning of the film.
The Chessmaster: At first it's Christine... then it's Isabelle... and ultimately it's Dani! Isabelle manages to take care of that, though.
City with No Name: Christine and Isabelle visit London and Christine mentions wanting to relocate to New York, but the wide array of accents that the characters have makes the setting unclear. Notably, Christine (played by the Canadian McAdams) is the only major character with a North American accent. To throw things off even further, people are later shown speaking German at length.
However, it definitely takes place in Europe, because when Isabelle mentions the sum that Dirk was embezzling, she gives the amount in euros and not dollars. Also, Isabelle refers to her residence as a flat and not an apartment.
Covers Always Lie: An interesting example; the soundtrack cover makes it look like Christine is about to strangle Isabelle and kill her. While this does happen in the film, it's in a dream sequence. In reality, the opposite happens — Christine is killed by Isabelle.
Instant Web Hit: Isabelle's commercial for the smartphone becomes one of these after she uploads it onto YouTube.
Interscene Diegetic: Isabelle attends a ballet. The music from it continues playing into the next scene, which is at an entirely different location. This is followed by a split screen, with the ballet and its music on one side, and the other half silent.
Magical Security Cam: Averted. When Christine shows the film of Isabelle crashing her car, it's from a different vantage point than what was seen earlier.
Manipulative Bitch: Christine and Isabelle both qualify. Christine masterfully uses her manipulation skills on Dirk, Isabelle, and Dani, and late in the film Isabelle proves to be a talented manipulator as well.
The Mistress: Isabelle is one, to Dirk, and Christine is aware of it but doesn't really care, at least according to him.
Product Placement: Surprisingly averted with the smartphones in the film. They're shown constantly, but the brand name is only onscreen a couple of times, and even then it's not the focal point.
Played straight with the Apple products, though. There's one scene where the camera actually zooms in on the logo until it fills the screen. Subtle.
The Reveal: Near the end of the film, Dani reveals to Isabelle that she knows all about the way the murder was planned, helpfully explaining it to the audience at the same time.
Scare Chord: One of these plays after Christine reveals to Isabelle that she has the sex tape that Isabelle and Dirk made.
Scenery Porn: The film is full of it. Some examples include Christine's home, the offices, and the party Isabelle and Christine attend.
Underdressed for the Occasion: Many of the outfits that Isabelle's assistant Dani wears are far from office attire. For example, she's often seen in jeans, and at one point she's even wearing short shorts... in the offices of a company that is wealthy and powerful, and run by an authoritative boss. It's weird.
White Mask of Doom: The mask that Dirk buys for sexual use with Christine and later gives to Isabelle could count as one.