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Passion of Mind

Rated [PG], 105 minutes
Starring Demi Moore, Stellan Skarsgard, William Fichtner, Sinead Cusak and Peter Riegert
Screenplay by Ron Bass
Directed by Alain Berliner

IN SHORT: One for the ladies. 66% interesting for the guys.

Passion of Mind, which brings Demi Moore back to the big screen, is a fairly interesting and intriguing tale of what may be a severe case of schizophrenia or flat out insanity or a very credible dream life on the part of the main character. It would have been easy enough to turn this movie into a SF fantasy of parallel worlds, which would have made this boy happy, but that wasn't what it was meant to be. Here's the interesting part . . .

Somewhere in the sun-drenched south of France lives the young widow Marie (Moore) who is raising two beautiful girls. Marie is a freelance writer whose income comes from penning book reviews for the New York Times, though there is a stack of unpublished stories sitting in a box in the closet. She has no man in her life, indeed, she is still in love with the one she lost and is not seeking out new companionship. Each night she puts her kids to bed, locks her bedroom door from the inside and goes to sleep. Each morning she wakes up in New York City, as Marty, owner of the MMT & Associates Literary Agency. A single woman with no children and no love life who dreams about a family in France.

No schizophrenia here, folks. Each woman is very aware of the "life" of the other woman. Each believes it to be a wonderful dream reality and each is envious of aspects of the other. Marty, with a severe demeanor and hair pinned back wishes for love and children. Marie, a veritable earth mother, dreams of the high powered career. Each seeks out a shrink to help deal with the dream fantasy and come to grips with reality. Each falls in love, Marie with a writer (Stellan Skarsgaard) and Marty with a client's accountant (William Fichtner). The big question is, of course, which reality is "real" and what happens if Marie/Marty lets her lover stay the night. Who will be in the bed when she wakes up?

That's a very interesting pair of parallel stories playing out on screen. Moore does a fine job keeping the characteristics of each woman clearly defined. We all know that, sooner or later, one life is going to assert itself. There were several ways this story could have gone when it reached that point, and the back of my brain was working in overdrive as it anticipated the possibilities. The direction the film takes, though, sets its sights at the ladies -- when Passion of Mind's big psychological revelation hit towards the end, the screening room was filled with sniffling like a thing alive. This poor old male sat there thinking "huh?" as the rest of the story played out.

It wasn't that I couldn't follow which one was real. Everything that follows was way beyond this dumb guy. Passion of Mind has all the feel of an arthouse flick. Whether the tear factor is enough to get the ladies to lug their gents along is a matter of word of mouth. The first two acts of this eventual chick flick are well done and should hold male interest. The last act is going to need explanation.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Passion of Mind, he would have paid...


just about Dateflick level.

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