Brian De Palma doesn't need to prove himself because he has done so many times very consistently. Only it seems people are very ready to brand him as someone who has lost his skill when it comes to cinematic excellence. I for one think he is as brilliant as he ever was. Only you need to look at it differently. There is this whole sub genre within horror called giallo. One I love very much. One that mixes up stylish cinematography with twisted and outrageous storytelling. In this genre the focus is on the suspense and asks you to accept the logic of the universe that is created in the film. If you are willing to accept that then you will find yourself not being bothered by lack of details and plot holes. (Although some of the brilliant ones in the genre do offer well told stories that are ingeniously constructed.) A few of De Palma movies are very much like giallo's which is important to take into consideration.
Passion is his latest and feels even more like a true giallo because of the European (German) setting, cast and production. For some the accents might be a little distracting but it is also one of the elements that add to the charm. The two main characters Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace are one of the reasons that make Passion worth wile. The women they portray show beauty, weakness, strength, wickedness and a whole range of emotions that will want to make you stay clear from them in real life. But at the same time you can't stay away from them and want to watch their every move because they are deliciously evil. Almost in the same vein as the TV show Damages only damages is far less twisted. Which is saying something. Both Noomi and Rachel are on top of their game and if you had doubts about their acting abilities before than you won't have them after seeing them like this. Plus they look super hot adding to the contrast to their true selves.
Honestly I can't remember having so much fun watching a thriller where you were glued to the screen and almost could not predict what was going to happen next. Of course a lot of the tale ultimately can be predicted especially fans of the genre. But here is where Brian De Palma shows what a master he is of his craft. He manages to pull you in from the first scene until the last one. He uses red herrings to throw you off the trail and uses male actors that look alike to make even the biggest thriller fans doubt. There are some scenes where Brian De Palma makes it more confusing than is needed where some might loose the plot a little. Even though I think that if you watch the film without any distraction you will able to follow it very easily.
One thing I need to mention is the title. It is extremely misleading. While sex in a certain context is important in this film it is far from the erotic thriller as advertised. If I could I would replace Passion with Ambition. Seems more fitting. Passion suggests that it's about love. And from what I have seen only one character is capable of that even when it is one of the obsessive and stalking kind. Maybe people were disappointed that there was a lack of eroticism (there is enough there to make a point). Whatever the reason is for some people to dislike Passion. I loved the style and the tale it told. In my opinion a must watch!