RESURRECTION – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

The trauma of an abusive relationship resurfaces in Resurrection, a thriller that Rebecca Hall centers with a get-under-your-skin performance, even as the film turns into bonkers territory. For a while, Resurrection lives in that relatable, uneasy space when something reminds us of a version of ourselves we thought we’d outgrown. The gory climax leaves viewers wondering what they’ve just watched—and if the running time was worth the trouble.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 29, 2021: PASSING

Based on Nella Larsen’s same-named novella, Rebecca Hall’s powerful 1920s-set directorial debut, Passing, tells the story of two friends — Irene (Tessa Thompson) and Clare (Ruth Negga) — who unexpectedly reunite after a long separation, only to discover that their lives have taken very different trajectories. As it reveals what happens after their paths re-cross, the film examines complex issues related to race, identity, marriage, motherhood, and more.

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PASSING – Review by Jennifer Merin

Passing is Rebecca Hall’s beautifully realized directorial debut. Written, produced, and directed by Hall, the film is an adaptation of Nella Larsen’s 1929 eponymous novel about two Black women who were best friends during their childhood days in Harlem and who, after having gone their separate ways for decades, are accidentally reunited in the tea room of a downtown NYC hotel.

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PASSING – Review by Sherin Nicole

There is a tension running through Passing that is mirrored in Tessa Thompson’s performance: the stiffness in her jaw, the tightness between her eyes, the rigidity of her spine. As the audience, we understand. It is the result of lies so brittle a whisper could break them apart. And if we are Black that tension goes beyond empathy, it is recognition. In the Rebecca Hall film, adapted from the lauded novel by Harlem Renaissance writer Nella Larsen, Tessa Thompson nd Ruth Negga are a pair of reunited friends. Both from uptown, both wives, both well-to-do; one white presenting and the other “passing” for white.

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PASSING – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

Actor Rebecca Hall has chosen to make her directorial debut with a screen adaptation of Passing, a celebrated novella written in 1929 by Harlem Renaissance author Nella Larsen about the phenomenon of passing for white among light-skinned African Americans. Passing doesn’t live on the surface of its subject, but instead bores into the costs of living a lie. And passing is only one kind of lie.

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PASSING – Review by Liz Whittemore

Shot in black and white, Passing tells the tale of two childhood friends reuniting. Clare and Irene grew up in the same circle in Harlem. After a chance run-in at a hotel, Irene discovers that Clare had been passing for white for years. As their friendship slowly rekindles, their lives clash through fear and the reality of 1920s New York.

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PASSING (Sundance2021) – Review by Pamela Powell

Rebecca Hall’s impassioned feature directorial debut, “Passing,” is based on Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel of the same name. The story depicts two Black women who were once childhood friends, Clare who ‘passes’ for white and Irene who’s troubled by her own ability to do so, who are unexpectedly reunited. Their chance encounter will change their lives forever as they are pushed to look at the world through a different lens.

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