Sometimes, the art of filmmaking seems simpler than we might think. Every now and then, a work comes along to suggest that cinematic success is as straightforward as hiring two or more attractive performers and letting them be their most magnetic, entrancing selves – giving the people what they want with grace, dignity, and skill.
That’s the preliminary read on Passages, the new film from Ira Sachs, which will bring together three of the most staggeringly good-looking actors frequenting the European festival circuit right now. A report from The Film Stage indicates that he’s already begun shooting his follow-up to his under-appreciated, Isabelle Huppert-led Frankie, a portrait of romantic dissatisfaction that seems to be in line with this latest project.
In it, Franz Rogowski (a recent favorite of Germany’s Christian Petzold) and Ben Whishaw (last seen as the bookish Q in the James Bond flick No Time to Die) star as a pair of lovers who have been in a tender relationship for fifteen years. But an “intimacy triangle” threatens to tear their union asunder when one of them – which actor that will be has yet to be revealed – has an affair with a woman, portrayed by Adèle Exarchopoulos (one-time Palme d’Or recipient for Blue Is the Warmest Color).
Knowing the filmography of Ira Sachs, this infidelity will lead to a full reappraisal of the self for the three characters caught up in it, examining not just their own sexual orientations, but their aspirations, insecurities, and the other messy intangibles that make up the complex figures peopling his work. If Frankie is any indicator, this will likely take place in a dazzlingly telegenic European locale.
With production currently underway, a premiere at Cannes next year (where Frankie landed Sachs a choice spot in the Competition slate) looks to be in the cards. With the attached personnel, it’s not hard to imagine the red carpet treatment – they all know the Croisette like the back of their respective, well-moisturized hands.
Published 15 Nov 2021
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