With the Cannes Film Festival kicking off next weekend, all eyes in the independent film world are currently on the Croisette. But while most of the buzzy Cannes premieres won’t make their way stateside for several months, we’re finally getting close to the window in which Sundance breakouts start opening in theaters.
One such hit is “Passages,” Ira Sachs’ haunting eighth film about a director who abandons her husband for a woman he meets in Paris. The film, starring Frank Rogowski, Ben Whishaw and Adèle Exarchopoulos, was praised by many as a return to the kind of intense character studies Mike Nichols cut his teeth on in the 1960s and ’70s.
The film earned rave reviews at Sundance, with IndieWire’s David Ehrlich writing, “A characterful new drama from a director whose best work (‘Keep the Lights On’, ‘Love Is Strange’) is both generously tender brutal in its brutality and ruthless in its tenderness, the raw and resonant ‘Passages’ is the kind of mess around and find out love triangle that rings true because we aspire to her sexiest moments but see ourselves in her most selfish moments.
In an interview with IndieWire conducted at Sundance, Rognowski, Whishaw and Exarchopoulos praised Sachs for crafting such a messy relationship drama filled with so many human emotions.
“As a human being who loves and desires and is full of fear and hope and spontaneous decision, it seemed pretty easy,” Rogowski said. “It’s not just this character that’s hard to figure out. It’s also very funny the way it’s sometimes combined, it’s also very ridiculous. Love is sometimes ridiculous and painful, but it always comes back in very human and intimate moments that allow you to accept the more challenging ones.
“I actually think (Franz Rogowski’s character) is extremely relatable. It’s not extreme what he does. It’s just that Ira shows it. People always do. They say one thing, they do another, they change their minds about something. We all do it all the time, I do it anyway. I find the irregularity and the whimsical… I think he is very human,” Whishaw added. “(Ira) doesn’t tidy it up, it makes it more beautiful.”
“Passages” will be released in select US theaters on Friday, August 4. Watch the teaser below.