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Passages (2023)

Tomas and Martin's marriage is thrown into crisis when Tomas begins a passionate affair with Agathe, a younger woman he meets after completing his latest film.

The Story

Tomas  and Martin’s already rocky marriage is thrown into crisis when Tomas begins a passionate affair with Agathe, a younger woman he meets after completing his latest film.  

2023-passages

The Deets

Rating: NR
Concerns: Nudity, graphic scenes
Runtime: 1h 31m
Genre: Drama, Romance, Lgbtq+
Original Language: English, French
Release Date (US Theaters):  August 4, 2023 Limited

Main Cast

Franz Rogowski as Tomas
Ben Whishaw as Martin
Adèle Exarchopoulos as Agathe
Erwan Kepoa Falé as Ahmad
Olivier Rabourdin
Caroline Chaniolleau

Production & Crew

Distributor: MUBI
Production Co: SBS Productions, KNM
Director(s): Ira Sachs
Producer(s): Saïd Ben Saïd, Michel Merkt
Writer(s): Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias
Cinematography: Josée Deshaies
Music: x
Editor: Sophie Reine
Hair/Makeup Lead: Laurent Bozzi (hair), Natali Tabareau-Vieuille (makeup)
Costumes:Khadija Zeggaï

Initial Thoughts

German Tomas and British Martin are artists living in Paris, and their lives are wound tightly together by mutual friends and property. Tomas is a filmmaker who micromanages his actors in search for perfection, and he’s never satisfied. He and his husband Martin aren’t a good fit, and Martin knows it, especially when Tomas comes home from a film after-party and says that he slept with a woman and liked it.

Tomas moves out, giving us the classic “is this book yours or mine” scene, and moves in with Agathe. Maybe it’s their European quietness, but their love does not seem more than sexual. Tomas isn’t interested in her love language of food, but he does like to look at her and remember that she’s with him. She’s nothing more than a pet. Unfortunately, sexual encounters sometimes produce heirs.

While Martin tries to go his separate way, Tomas is always there. He walks into the apartment as if he still lives there, and calls when he wants to chat. Even when Tomas is starting a new family with Agathe, he still goes to Martin for emotional support and advice, and he’s annoyingly judgmental of Martin’s new lover. He can’t move on.

The film is erotic art. Intimate scenes are fire hot, and it’s clear that while there might not be much chemistry between the characters in public, they’re a good match when unclothed. But Tomas always coupled with only one lover, not both. It’s still a wonder why there was no threesome or why they didn’t form a polyamorous relationship.

Instead, Tomas disrespected his lovers equally. He slept with Agathe while with Martin, and he slept with Martin while with Agathe. Martin and Agathe both showed each other respect and kindness, yet their lover couldn’t to either. 

While Tomas micromanages at work, we see Martin working collaboratively with the artists and customers in his printshop. And we see Agathe guiding and energizing her young pupils in class. Tomas most definitely has a type, and he thinks Martin does as well when he describes his new lover and Tomas compares himself to the new lover. “No, you are not like him,” Martin responds sharply.

We feel sorry for Tomas as he rides the streets of Paris alone, though the feeling doesn’t linger long. We’re confident he will find someone new to love, soon.

If you’re on the fence about watching this movie, yes. Passages moves through many forms of love, showing that all relationships are about love and respect no matter the combination of man and man or man and woman. FFS, watch it.

The Trailer