‘A slightly toxic relationship turns into something utterly venomous’ – Passages
3rd September 2023

In this liberal age, few French dramas arrive in British cinemas with an 18 certificate. It seems it was a long, impressively energetic sex scene featuring German actor Franz Rogowski and Paddington star Ben Whishaw that spurred the British censors into action.

Although in no way gratuitous (here the sex is more or less the plot), it could have traumatised young fans of the marmalade scoffing bear.

As this is a French film (although about half the dialogue is in English), both leading men have glamorous jobs.

Rogowski is Tomas, a brilliant young film director who lives in Paris with his English artist husband Martin (Whishaw).

Martin goes home early from the wrap party for Tomas’s movie, leaving his husband dancing with a young teacher called Agathe (Adèle Exarchopoulos).

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The next morning Tomas arrives home and drops a bombshell.

“I had sex with a woman. Can I tell you about it, please?” he says excitedly while Martin is trying to finish off a croissant.

For the rest of the film, it becomes clear that Tomas seems to want to have his crescent shaped bread roll and eat it too. He continues sleeping with Agathe but tries to keep his husband in reserve.

Slowly a slightly toxic relationship turns into something utterly venomous.

Passages, Cert 18, In cinemas now

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