A Map Of The World

"Good"

A Map Of The World Review


What American Beauty did for the suburbs, A Map of the World aims to do for the farm life.

I said "aims," of course. A Map of the World is deeply flawed yet still worth a look, especially if you're into grandiose, weepy, self-important dramas. And hey, who isn't?

Obviously based on an Oprah-class novel, A Map of the World is the story of Alice Goodwin (Weaver), a put-upon school nurse who lives on a Wisconsin farm as part of an "experiment" by her rather oblivious husband Howard (Straitharn). Right with the voice over at the film's beginning, it's clear that Alice is going to have some Bad Times ahead, and within 20 minutes, said Times are upon us.

Alice is so frazzled she can't even keep an eye on the neighbors' precious daughter, who wanders off about 200 yards to the pond and promptly drowns. Hair tearing and chest beating ensues, and Alice's mindset only gets worse. Then the kicker: A real bitch of a woman (Sevigny) accuses Alice of abusing her son, a student at the school where Alice works. Go to jail, Alice. Courtroom drama follows.

As a story, A Map of the World is all over the map (no pun intended) -- from marital troubles between Alice and Howard to in-law problems (Fletcher playing Howard's doting mother) to legal mumbo-jumbo to a bizarre and out of place stretch with Alice doing time in jail during her trial. The whole notion of jail as a metaphor for Alice's mental healing (you know, a personal prison for dealing with her anguish over the death of the neighbor child?) is unbelievably over-the-top and just comes off as phony.

In fact, very little of this holds together as a narrative, and at 127 minutes, so much of this is extraneous padding that the film positively crawls. Even worse is Weaver's character (not necessarily Weaver herself, mind you). Alice is so selfish, melodramatic, and just plain dumb that the character hurts the film. Contrary to speculation, there will be no Oscar nod for Weaver this year.

Still, there's something to like. Most notable is Julianne Moore as the too-perfect neighbor whose daughter dies. Her character grows more than the rest of the cast combined, and her heartfelt performance makes up for a lot of the rest of this World. Still, the film can't ride on her surprisingly small role alone, so unless this all sounds like your idea of a great way to spend an evening, you'll probably want to pass.

World weary.



A Map Of The World

Facts and Figures

Run time: 125 mins

In Theaters: Friday 21st January 2000

Production compaines: Overseas FilmGroup, Cineventa, First Look International, The Kennedy/Marshall Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Fresh: 36 Rotten: 19

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Alice Goodwin, as Howard Goodwin, as Theresa Collins, as Carole Mackessy, as Debbie, as Robbie Mackessy, as Dan Collins, Hayley Lochner as Audrey Collins, as Nellie Goodwin, as Paul Reverdy, as Dyshett, as Sherry, Bruklin Harris as Lynelle

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Advertisement
Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.