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Movie Reviews

Passion Of Mind  

Marie/ Marty (Demi Moore)
William (Stellan Skarsgard)
Aaron (William Fichtner)
Jessie (Sinead Cusack)
Directed by Alan Berliner Written by Ron Bass and David Field
Rated PG-13 for sexuality Running Time: 105 minutes Distributed by Paramount Classics

Passion of Mind is a film that tries to be a unique and contrasting film, but ends up being pretty dull. The film's story is about a woman (Moore) who is leading a double life in her dreams. Marie is a beautiful but lonely American widow living with two daughters in the south of France. When Marie is asleep, Marty is awake in New York. Marty is a glamorous career woman, who wants a life of perfection. But is she really Marty or is she Marie. Reluctant to reveal their increasing confusion to the men in each of their lives, Marie and Marty must quickly discover which life is real and which is a dream, before they both lose everything.

Passion of Mind is a psychological romance that reminded me of the Gweyneth Paltrow film, Sliding Doors. However, Sliding Doors is a smarter and more entertaining film.

Alain Berliner's direction in the film isn't anything special, but substantial. His jumping back and forth from France to New York is presentable, not confusing. Also, Berliner's love scenes are filled with heart and passion. However, I didn't like Berliner's approach to the climatic scene of the film. He creates the scene darker and eerie than it should be. In my opinion, the climax of this film was suppose to be a revelation or discovery, Berliner approaches it as if he was creating something in The Shining.

The script was a collaboration of two writers, Ron Bass and David Field. The storyline is something different, but I couldn't get into it. The characters and relationships in the script were established, but there was also a lot irrelavance and bad dialogue. The writers try to bring in symbolism as well. Examples are Central Park in New York and Marty's sculpture of Marie. For the most part, the symbolism is just there with a flaky line of reference attached to it.

Stellan Skarsgard is a very flexible actor. His previous credits include roles in Good Will Hunting, Amistad, Ronin and Deep Blue Sea. He delivers an "almost too nice" and patient performance as Marie's love interest, William. I enjoy watching Skarsgard work; he has a wide-open future ahead of him. William Fichtner turns in an admirable performance, as Marty's love interest, Aaron. Fichtner has had a varietive career with roles in Heat, Go and Armageddon. He is a two-dimensional actor that will not have problems finding better scripts to work with. Passion of Mind is the first film Demi Moore has been in since G.I. Jane. She doesn't deliver the best performance of her career, but she does a nice job with the two lead roles (Marie/Marty) of the film. In the past, Moore has delivered performances that I routed for, like in Ghost, Indecent Proposal, The Seventh Sign and The Juror. However, sometimes she has been pretty terrible, like in The Butcher's Wife and Striptease. I wish all the best to her and I hope she gets her career back on track. Honestly, Passion of Mind is a good choice for a comeback attempt, because the spotlight isn't on this film. What I mean is that Passion of Mind isn't going to be release in many theaters and it isn’t a blockbuster. So, Moore made a wise decision of coming back with a role in a small, independent picture.

Passion of Mind is a film that could have been really interesting. It had a quirk in the story that might have worked better if different intentions and choices were made in the script.

Report Card Grade: C-

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