Part of Movies We Missed.
Sat, Jan 8 at 4:45pm: Introduction from Kashif Andrew Graham, Outreach Librarian for Religion and Theology, Vanderbilt Divinity Library | BUY TICKETS
Adapted from the celebrated 1929 novel of the same name by Nella Larsen, PASSING tells the story of two Black women, Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson) and Clare Kendry (Academy Award nominee Ruth Negga), who can “pass” as white but choose to live on opposite sides of the color line during the height of the Harlem Renaissance in late 1920s New York. After a chance encounter reunites the former childhood friends one summer afternoon, Irene reluctantly allows Clare into her home, where she ingratiates herself to Irene’s husband (André Holland) and family, and soon her larger social circle as well. As their lives become more deeply intertwined, Irene finds her once-steady existence upended by Clare — and PASSING becomes a riveting examination of obsession, repression and the lies people tell themselves and others to protect their carefully constructed realities.
“[Director Rebecca] Hall seems to have grasped the story as a performer would, prioritizing the potency of the characters' interior lives over the plot... She draws from Thompson and Negga a pair of finely tuned and exquisite performances.” —Shirley Li, The Atlantic “There is such sensitivity and intelligence in the performances from Thompson and Negga, and the cinematography from Eduard Grau and production design by Nora Mendis are both ravishing. It's a very stylish piece of work from Hall.” —Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian “The entire film exists in this perpetual state of a deceptively gentle push and pull. It's a masterful balance of tone.” —Odie Henderson, rogerebert.com