Passion of Mind

Passion of Mind is a 2000 American drama film starring Demi Moore.[2] It was the first English-language film from Belgian director Alain Berliner, best known for the arthouse success Ma Vie en Rose (1997). The film was panned by critics and became a box-office bomb, grossing just $769,272 against its $12 million budget. Moore received a nomination for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her roles.

Passion of Mind
Passion of mind.jpg
Promotional film poster
Directed byAlain Berliner
Written by
Produced by
CinematographyEduardo Serra
Edited byAnne V. Coates
Music byRandy Edelman
Distributed byParamount Classics
Release date
  • May 26, 2000 (2000-05-26)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
  • English
  • French
Budget$12 million
Box office$769,272[1]


Marty is a single, high-powered literary agent in Manhattan. Marie is a widow who lives a peaceful life in Provence, France with her two daughters. When Marie falls asleep she dreams that she is Marty and when Marty falls asleep she dreams that she is Marie. Marty has been seeing a therapist to deal with her vivid dreams of Marie's life. Marie also sees a therapist, and confides in her older friend, Jessie, but she is much less disturbed by the dream life.

Each woman is convinced that the other is a figment of her imagination. Marty's New York psychiatrist, Dr. Peters, feels that she is lonely in her busy life and wants to live a simple life with children to love. Marie’s French psychiatrist, Dr. Langer, feels that she wants more than a drab home life and longs to lead a more exciting one.

Through a business deal, Marty meets Aaron, an accountant. They become friends and eventually lovers. Terrified that her vivid other life means that she's losing her mind, Marty doesn't want to tell Aaron about it but finally does. Marie, meanwhile, has met and fallen in love with William, a writer. She too is reluctant to tell William about her dreams, particularly because she (as Marty) is falling in love with Aaron, but realizes that she cannot keep such an important part of her life a secret.

The two men react very differently: William is jealous, and Aaron is skeptical but not at all threatened, and wants only for Marty to be happy. Dreams and reality begin to merge when Marie goes on holiday with William to Paris, and Marty wakes up with an ashtray from the hotel on her night stand. Eventually Marty/Marie must come to terms with reality and choose which life is real and which is illusion.

Along the way, Marty and Marie find clues from each other's lives in each world. Yet, the real, tangible things are always found in the New York world. Eventually, she realizes that her New York Life is real and her French life is a dream. Marie's two daughters are herself when she was 7 and 11. Her friend, Jessie, is her memory of her mother who died when she was eleven.

Marty gives Aaron her journals as a way to understand her better.



Passion of Mind garnered negative reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 19% approval rating, based on 36 reviews, with an average score of 4/10.[3] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 28 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[4]

Emanuel Levy, writing for Variety, criticized Bass and Field's "narrowly-scoped, undernourished script" for taking its main concept and explained it in "a more rational and clinical way", but praised Berliner and his production crew for constructing "workable tension" during the first half with "impressive mise-en-scene" and "smooth transitions" between the two different lives and the performances of Moore, Skarsgård and Fichtner, concluding that: "Due to them, "Passion of Mind" is more successful and enjoyable as a variation on the prevalent screen theme of romantic triangle than as a psychological case of split personality."[5] Marjorie Baumgarten of The Austin Chronicle was also critical of the "woefully underwritten" script telling "a preposterous story" with an unearned "explanatory climax", but gave praise to Moore, Skarsgård and Fichtner, saying they "perform ably and strike more than a few pleasant moments in this otherwise forgettable drama."[6] Roger Ebert felt the screenplay paled in comparison to the similarly premised Me Myself I when constructing its story with supernatural and multiple personality elements, saying it gave unanswered questions that overshadow the content and leads to an "unconvincingly neat" conclusion.[7] Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum gave the film a "D+" grade, calling it "a weirdly rococo and psychologically nonsensical application" of the "folks surfing the space-time/living-dead continuum" formula that was previously used by Frequency, Me Myself I and Sliding Doors.[8]

Moore was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her roles, but lost to Madonna for The Next Best Thing.[9]


  1. ^ Passion of Mind at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ New York Times Theater Reviews (2002), The New York Times Film Reviews: 1999-2000, Taylor & Francis, p. 319, ISBN 0415936969.
  3. ^ "Passion of Mind". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on November 26, 2021. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  4. ^ "Passion of Mind Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on March 6, 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  5. ^ Levy, Emanuel (May 22, 2000). "Passion of Mind". Variety. Archived from the original on May 26, 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  6. ^ Baumgarten, Marjorie (May 26, 2000). "Passion of Mind - Movie Review". The Austin Chronicle. Archived from the original on May 26, 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2022.      
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger (May 26, 2000). "Passion of Mind". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 28, 2021. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via     
  8. ^ Schwarzbaum, Lisa (June 2, 2000). "Passion of Mind". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 4, 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  9. ^ "Twenty-First Annual RAZZIE® Awards (for 2000)". Golden Raspberry Award Foundation. Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2022.

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