Much of the world learned of the talent of Ryusuke Hamaguchi when Drive My Car miraculously and deservedly was nominated for multiple Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film, the latter of which it won. However, many cinephiles have been banging the drum for the director since his 5.5-hour drama Happy Hour, Asako I & II, and his earlier 2022 release, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy. The start of his career goes back even further and now, never before released in the U.S., his second feature Passion will finally get a theatrical release starting at NYC’s Film at Lincoln Center and LA’s Laemmle Royal on April 14. Ahead of the release, the new trailer for his Tokyo University of the Arts thesis graduation film, which he completed in 2008, has arrived courtesy of Film Movement.
The film examines a series of intersecting love triangles, plunging headlong into the exposed-nerve confessions and unrequited attachments among a group of thirtysomethings. It begins when a couple, Kaho (Aoba Kawai) and Tomoya (Ryuta Okamoto), announce their engagement to their friends over dinner, where it’s also revealed the groom had an affair years earlier. While the two spend the evening apart, Tomoya follows his friends to the apartment of his former classmate (Fusako Urabe, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy), with whom he’s in love, and are led into ever more vulnerable and shocking exchanges of emotional honesty.
Watch the trailer below via Indiewire.
Passion opens on April 14 at NYC’s Film at Lincoln Center and LA’s Laemmle Royal and will expand.