De Palma Phones it in for “Passion” (2012)

Somewhere on the guilty pleasure scale between Black Swan and Boxing Helena is writer/director Brian De Palma’s Passion (D+), a twisty tale of a ruthless ad exec (Rachel McAdams) and her talented protégée (Noomi Rapace). And if it were made by anyone other than the veteran master who made Carrie, Sisters, Body Double and The Untouchables, it would be roundly laughed out of the room as an incompetent student film. Still, it’s fun to hear the overblown score, to see the director rehash his signature split screens and to plumb classic fallbacks of sapphic obsession, doppelgängers and eerie closets, elevators and showers. The campy, terrible acting just adds to the off-the-rails ambiance.