Passing

2021

Drama

115
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 90%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 275

Synopsis


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November 12, 2021

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English 2.0
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23.976 fps
98 min
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1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
98 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by CinemaSerf 6 / 10 / 10

Stylish looking but just a bit lacking...

Tessa Thompson is "Renie" - married to successful doctor "Brian" (André Holland), who heads for some tea after a long day and encounters childhood friend "Clare" (Ruth Negga). She doesn't immediately recognise her because she has little colour in her skin... Indeed, as the story pans out even her husband, the pretty openly bigoted "John" (Alexander Skarsgård) has no idea that his wife is negro. "Clare" is pretty lonesome, and soon finds solace and popularity amongst her friend's friends who find her charming and vivacious - traits "Renie" possesses in scan quantity. What now ensues is a gentle observational look as how the relationship between the women, and the former's husband, children - even her maid, develop. The film is very easy to watch, to look at - the style of cinematography, the costumes and the lighting all lend themselves well to the imagery. The story itself is less impressive. Aside from quite a few plausibility issues, Thompson just seems to try too hard. There is little natural about her performance, and though perhaps, by contrast, because Negga is very much on top of her character, that does take much from the potency of this theoretically challenging, cleverly scored story. The ending, well - least said, I think though. It is almost as if Rebecca Hall just ran out of paper, rather than story.

Reviewed by Sir_AmirSyarif 7 / 10 / 10

Rebecca Hall is confident in her visions

Rebecca Hall's 'Passing' is a profound, challenging, and gripping examination of racial identity. As a debut feature from an actress-turned-director, Hall is confident in her visions. The visuals and performances from all the cast are executed to near-perfection. It's hugely accomplished and very impressively staged.

Reviewed by msbreviews 7 / 10 / 10

Sundance 2021: Passing features outstanding performances from Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, but Rebecca Hall needs to learn that "less is more".

If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free reviews, please follow my blog :) Black-and-white films are something I'll always cherish, but when these two colors become part of the narrative itself, then I can only expect a great movie. Passing approaches the fear of being colored due to obvious reasons of the film's period, and it does so in a necessarily disturbing, emotionally investing manner. Tessa Thompson (Irene) plays in the colored side while Ruth Negga (Clare) enjoys the privileges of passing as white. A captivating story unravels with Irene and Clare feeling envious of each other. If the former desires the latter's (external) happiness, Clare feels terrible for not possessing the same principles and morals as Irene. While I feel much more empathy for Irene's pride in being colored, I also don't blame Clare for getting a better life without all the discrimination. Both have their own personal problems, but as their friendship grows larger and more significant, these issues also expand and become seriously hurtful, especially to Tessa's character. The narrative loses a bit of steam when it starts focusing on romantic jealously instead of the interracial matter. The passage of time occasionally feels too abrupt and slightly confusing. Finally, the ending doesn't do justice to the movie's central theme and title, almost completely forgetting what it was supposed to communicate to the audience. Nevertheless, it's still a marvelous film with a meaningful storytelling purpose. As expected, Tessa and Ruth deliver brilliant performances, boasting a charming, dynamic, even passionate chemistry, but André Holland, Alexander Skarsgård, and the always remarkable Bill Camp also prove their worth. The B&W transmits a beautiful message concerning the lack of importance of someone's color (in B&W, everyone looks the same), and the significant value of morals and principles that truly define a person. As her feature directorial debut, Rebecca Hall undoubtedly shows talent, but she'll need to learn that "less is more". Gorgeous, elegant cinematography from Edu Grau. Passing is a solid feature directorial debut for Rebecca Hall, but she must learn to focus on just one central theme. Otherwise, such a beautifully shot movie boasting outstanding performances will lose its precious message in the middle of so many irrelevant, superficial romantic endeavors. Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga carry the plot forward with charm and elegance, as does everyone else in the cast, but these two share such remarkable chemistry that I feel that the slow pacing was actually quite adequate. While the main plot revolves around the "passing as white" debate, I couldn't feel more engaged by the narrative and its opposite-sided main characters. However, this fascinating matter gradually loses energy, ultimately fading completely to an underwhelming jealously story between women, culminating in a climax that feels slightly out-of-place and exaggerated. Still, it's more entertaining than I anticipated it to be, and it still leaves the viewers with a very interesting "what if it was me" scenario to think about.

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