- 1 hr 33 min
Passe-passe is a French comedy-drama film directed by Tonie Marshall and released in 2008. The movie tells the story of Nina, a successful actress who is about to celebrate her 40th birthday. She is preparing for a new theatrical production where she will star as a woman suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Nina is determined to find a way to connect with her character and portray the role with authenticity. At the same time, Nina's personal life is falling apart. Her husband has left her for a younger woman, and she is struggling to come to terms with the end of their relationship. She finds solace in a new relationship with an older gentleman named Victor, who is also going through a difficult time after losing his wife. Nina's rehearsals for the play are not going well. She is finding it challenging to empathize with her character, who is losing her memories and identity. However, Nina's frustrations turn into a blessing when she meets an old magician named Leo. Leo becomes her mentor, providing her with inspiration and guidance on how to connect with her character. Leo helps Nina understand the similarities between acting and magic. He shows her how to create magic tricks and illusions and how to use them to tell a story on stage. Nina is fascinated by Leo's skills and becomes determined to incorporate them into her performance. Her journey to understand herself and her character is not an easy one, but with the help of Leo, she learns to trust herself and her instincts. Nathalie Baye is excellent in her role as Nina. She convincingly portrays the complexities of her character, a woman in crisis, fighting to keep her emotions under control. Baye's performance is raw and genuine, and her chemistry with Edouard Baer, who plays Leo, is palpable. Baer brings his vaudeville stylings and eclectic charm to his portrayal of the elderly magician, making the scenes he shares with Baye some of the best in the movie. Guy Marchand's role as Victor is less pivotal but still crucial in creating an interesting backstory for Nina. His performance is subtle yet impactful, and he plays the character with a sense of grace and dignity that makes the audience empathize with him. Tonie Marshall's direction is impressive. She manages to balance the drama and comedy elements of the movie seamlessly, keeping the audience engaged and invested in the story. Her use of magic as a metaphor for acting adds layers to the plot, making it even more poignant. Passe-passe is a profound film that explores themes of identity, love, and self-discovery. The movie is relatable and moving, and the performances by the cast are top-notch. The film's use of magic to convey the story is both entertaining and insightful, adding depth to the already thoughtful plot. Passe-passe is a delightful surprise and a must-see for anyone who enjoys French cinema.