June 05, 2000 12:00 PM

Demi Moore, Stellan Skarsgard, William Fichtner, Sinead Cusack

One of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s greatest but most baffling films is Persona (1966), in which two women merge into one. Think of Passion of Mind, a sluggish psychological drama in which Moore’s character carries on two vastly different lives simultaneously, as Persona for Dummies.

To paraphrase the old Certs commercial, Moore has two minds, two minds in one. She begins Passion as an American widow living with two little daughters in an old house in rural France. But at night she dreams she is a literary agent living the go-go single life in a Manhattan loft. Or is her life in sunny Provence the dream? She is no longer sure. And—big problem—she also doesn’t know which of her two adoring beaux (Skarsgard in France, Fichtner in New York) is the real deal.

By the time this thin story finally comes to its simplistic, Freud-fraught conclusion, few viewers will care. It doesn’t help that on each side of the Atlantic Moore gives a skittish, hand-wringing performance. (Not for nothing was the film’s release delayed for nearly a year.)(PG-13)

Bottom Line: Double Demi is two much

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