Urban Cinefile
"It was happening all the time, it hit my boots, it hit me, it hit the deck. ...And this was all in the studio "  -George Clooney on Mark Wahlberg's famous seasick barfing during the shoot of The Perfect Storm
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

PASSION

SYNOPSIS:
The story of eccentric Australian pianist Percy Grainger [1882 – 1961] (Richard Roxburgh), and his intense relationship with his mother Rose (Barbara Hershey), and his relationship with his lover Karen (Emily Woof). The story of one a year in his life provides an insight into his genius as pianist, his philosophies and his tormented struggle between performing the works of other composers in major recitals – brilliantly, and in order to pay for his expensive life style – and his real love of free style composing.

"Intriguing and very complex, Passion is a fascinating portrait of a gifted artist whose perversity and flawed perceptions are placed under scrutiny. It's a well-told story that involves, engrosses and draws you into a world where the abnormal is normal. The mood is beautifully created with rich production design, picturesque settings and haunting cinematography. And of course, there's the music. From Chopin to Mozart, Grieg to Grainger, the rippling keyboard cadenzas involve us. But it's the story that holds our fascination, unraveling one revelation after another; this snapshot which describes Grainger's childlike and inappropriate behaviour, his unspeakable passions and erratic views on love and relationships. Looking at times disconcertingly like a young Danny Kaye, Richard Roxburgh revels in the lead role, bringing much depth and complexity to it. Barbara Hershey is splendid as Rose, her maternal affection unbalanced, her possessiveness extreme, her conscience troubled. But it's Emily Woof who wins our greatest sympathy and compassion, who risks her own peace of mind in order to satisfy the sado-masochistic desires of her lover. My reservation lies in the less than satisfying ending, which deprives us of pertinent details. Disturbing and tragic, Passion is compelling cinema – an extraordinary film about an extraordinary life."
Louise Keller

"I agree with Louise; Passion is a fine achievement in filmmaking. It looks and sounds wonderful, and Roxburgh delivers a tangible, complex character. I could have taken a touch more self doubt and inner conflict from Hershey, but Emily Woof makes up for that. But, like Louise, I have reservations, and they are all to do with the storytelling and the decision to write a screenplay that lifts an early portion of Grainger’s life and puts it under the microscope. We spend but a few very short years with him, all after his arrival in London and well before his mother’s death and his marriage. Those momentous events are related by way of text cards before the end credits. But by this stage we have invested heavily in emotional terms in Grainger, his mother Rose and Karen his all-suffering, devoted girlfriend. Grainger’s complex nature and his contrariness is well captured, however, and the film is both a titillating insight and a profound study of one of Australia’s creative geniuses. It could have been told more daringly, perhaps, echoing Grainger’s volatility and eccentricity, but it does indeed involve us in the story."
Andrew L. Urban

PASSION, the CD Soundtrack

Read the Fact Sheet about PERCY ALDRIDGE GRAINGER

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

See Andrew L. Urban's interviews with
EMILY WOOF
and director
PETER DUNCAN

PASSION (R)
(AUS)

CAST: Richard Roxburgh, Barbara Hershey, Emily Woof, Claudia Karvan, Simon Burke


DIRECTOR: Peter Duncan

PRODUCER: Matt Carroll

SCRIPT: Don Watson

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Martin McGrath

EDITOR: Simon Martin

MUSIC SUPERVISOR: Christine Woodruff

ORCHESTRATOR/ ARRANGER: Alan John

PIANIST/HAND DOUBLE: David Stanhope

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Murray Picknett

RUNNING TIME: 102 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: REP
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: July 1, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: November 17, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Universal







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017