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Year: 2023 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Ira Sachs 
Starring: Franz Rogowski, Ben Whishaw, Adèle Exarchopoulos  
An image from Passages

When only a few publicity shots from this one had been released for its Sundance premiere, the buzz around Passages was setting certain subsections of arthouse-adoring Film Twitter alight. The images suggested a central love-triangle dynamic to this intense new film, with sultry set-piece scenes for its leads: indie darlings Ben Whishaw, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Franz Rogowski. Even more enticing, then, when the American classification board slapped their highest NC-17 rating on Passages – something that has rarely been required in recent years, and usually spells commercial failure.

Writer-director Ira Sachs held strong, refusing to cut the film: for a “movie of pleasure”, he argued, it is crucial that “skin is revealed”. This will make for a fascinating drama in the erotically charged Passages, combining said pleasure with the complex emotional truths of his previous work, such as aching queer romance Love is Strange. Ben Whishaw’s Martin is married to Tomas (Rogowski, for my money the most interesting actor of the moment continuing his hot streak), a testy and self-centred film director tackling a new project. At the wrap party, Tomas strikes up a friendship with Agathe (Exarchopoulos), recently available after dumping her boyfriend, and the two engage in passions which are to test the relations of all three. The festival talk around Passages is exciting enough – and with such talent involved, it’s sure to live up to expectations

Max King

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Screenings of this film:

2023/2024 Autumn Term (35mm)