Joan Ackermann

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Off The Map Review


Excellent
Within the past seven years, Campbell Scott has quietly become an important indie hyphenate, producing and starring in notable art house circuit films including Big Night, Roger Dodger, and the current The Secret Lives of Dentists. His passion for the craft of acting is obvious; it's now also clearly visible in his own directing, with the unconventional and often beautiful family tale, Off the Map.

Based on the play by Joan Ackermann (and adapted by Ackermann for the screen), Off the Map recalls one summer in the life of an offbeat family living off the land in rural New Mexico. It's essentially a series of dialogue-driven scenarios that actors like Joan Allen and Sam Elliott can sink their teeth into; Scott guides them there while avoiding any unnecessary scene-chewing or melodrama that could come with the subject matter. That's an accomplishment in itself -- but the visual dreaminess and charm that Scott weaves into, and wraps around, his performances elevate the film into a poignant and thoughtful work of art.

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