The Passenger

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The Passenger

Original Release Date: 1975
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Writers: Antonioni, Mark Peploe, Peter Wollen
Cinematography: Luciano Tovoli
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider
Studio information: Sony Pictures, 126 mins.

Antonioni and Nicholson explore the nature of identity

Nowadays, long, dry, philosophical movies don’t often star Hollywood’s top actors

, but in 1975 Antonioni cast Jack Nicholson as a reporter who slips out of his own identity and into someone else’s. Although Antonioni appears to digress, he repeatedly asks profound questions about these shells we inhabit. Nicholson is superb, partly because he’s not just playing another variation of his smirking persona; he too seems to have let the façade slip. The film’s wonderfully meandering journey ends with a mesmerizing feat of visual gymnastics in which the camera itself seems to leave the body of the film then turns around to have a look.