It was announced yesterday that Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut film, Passing, which premiered at Sundance, has been acquired by Netflix for more than $15 million. Reviews have been solid, and this for sure is a major accomplishment for a first-time filmmaker. 


Passing is based on Nella Larsen’s 1929 book about two childhood friends, both biracial, one of whom, when they’re adults, lives as a white woman. In addition to directing, Rebecca also adapted the screenplay – because she has a personal connection to the story. Which is the cover feature in this week’s issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

This week on the podcast, Duana and I discuss identity and storytelling and who gets to tell whose stories, and for Duana, as screenwriter, she too has a personal connection to this experience. Our conversation is about belonging and not belonging, and how that informs our work – and the next level of representation and inclusion. 


From there we move on to Carey Mulligan and Variety’s review of Promising Young Woman from Sundance last year which she took exception to. And Variety recently apologised for it… and in response to that, there are some who feel that the apology was unnecessary; Alyssa Rosenberg wrote a piece for the Washington Post, arguing that “actors’ looks are fair game for discussion”. Duana and I weigh in on the debate, what this means for culture criticism, and how it relates to … Nancy Meyers!

Let us know what you think about Passing and Perceived Hotness, and as always thanks for listening!