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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Passion of Mind
Directed by Alain Berliner
Paramount 05/00 DVD/VHS Feature Film
PG-13 - scenes of sexuality

It is interesting to note that the inviolate mystery of those nearest and dearest to us includes their identities and travels in the realm of dreams. There they meet and greet different aspects of themselves at various stages in their lives. For some, these dreams are vague and misty; for others, they are incredibly vivid, matching waking reality in their intensity.

This beguiling and heart-affecting drama about one woman's dream life marks the English-language debut of Alain Berliner, the director of the Golden-Globe winning Ma Vie En Rose. The screenplay is by Academy-Award winner Ron Bass (Rain Man) and David Field.

Marie (Demi Moore) is a widow who lives in France with her two young daughters. Her closest confidant is Jessie (Sinead Cusack), who urges her to relax into a new relationship with William (Stellan Skarsgard), a writer whose book she trashed in a review for The New York Times. Every night she falls asleep as Marie and wakes up in the morning as Marty, a hard-driving New York City literary agent. Marty, who is single, has been seeing a psychiatrist (Peter Riegert) about her dreams of a domestic life in France. Just when she least expects it, she meets Aaron (William Fichtner), the charming business manager for one of her clients. Sensing her fragility, he insists upon just being a friend. When Marty tells him about her dreams of being Marie, he patiently stands by her instead of heading out the door. Not only does Marie/Marty not know which of her lives is waking reality, she is not even sure which one she prefers, especially when she falls in love with both William and Aaron.

Passion of Mind is a lyrical and pensive romantic drama about the important roles dreams can play in our lives. Allan Gurganus has observed: "Part of the beauty of dreams is that they're eternally mysterious. And that's part of the meaning for us. They seem to have a kind of wisdom that we don't have in our waking lives." Another writer has called them "deep talk." Marie/Marty finds this to be true. This richly developed psychological drama will encourage you to test out this understanding of dreams in your own life.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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