Jean-Luc Godard's Passion is a natural followup to his 1979 film Every Man for Himself, an intriguing movie about work and love. Here Jerzy (Jerzy Radziwilowicz) is working on a movie using pictorial images from the masterpieces of Rembrandt, Goya, Delacroix and others. The cast doesn't know what to make of the movie, and the producer complains about expenses and the lack of a storyline. Jerzy observes: "You have to live the stories before inventing them, but since you live them in order to invent them, it means you have to invent your own life."
The director's inventiveness focuses on his use of light on the tableaux and his pursuit of several women, including Isabelle (Isabelle Huppert), a worker in the midst of a dispute with her boss (Michel Piccoli), and Hanna (Hanna Schygulla), the owner of the motel where the film crew stays. The latter, who makes a videotape for Jerzy, tells him: "The work you demand of me is too close to love."
Passion challenges viewers' curiosity, causing them to look closely at the evocative imagery of Raoul Coutard, the sexual politics of Jerzy and his women, and the confusing process of creative movie-making. Godard remains a stubborn individualist in the world of contemporary cinema. His observations on art, work and love are both nettlesome and provocative.