A Map Of The World

Overview

In this contemporary drama, Sigourney Weaver plays a woman out of her element and at the end of her rope. Alice Goodwin is a wife and mother who finds that the pressures of her life are starting to become more than she can bear. Alice works part-time as a school nurse while her husband Howard David Strathairn runs the family farm; they both look after their two daughters. Alice, who wasn't raised in farm country, still feels like an outsider, and she embraces a cynical, sarcastic humor as a defense mechanism. ...
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Overview

In this contemporary drama, Sigourney Weaver plays a woman out of her element and at the end of her rope. Alice Goodwin is a wife and mother who finds that the pressures of her life are starting to become more than she can bear. Alice works part-time as a school nurse while her husband Howard David Strathairn runs the family farm; they both look after their two daughters. Alice, who wasn't raised in farm country, still feels like an outsider, and she embraces a cynical, sarcastic humor as a defense mechanism. Alice's only real friends in town are Dan and Theresa Collins Ron Lea and Julianne Moore, who live nearby and often babysit Alice's kids; Alice does the same for the Collins children as well. One day, while watching Theresa's two-year-old daughter Lizzie, Alice has to step away for a few minutes, and she returns to discover Lizzie has fallen into a pond near the house; the child falls into a coma and dies several days later. Lizzie's death puts a permanent wedge between Alice and Theresa, and most people in the community believe Alice is to blame for the girl's death. Any support she might have had is driven away when Robbie Marc Donato, a boy who lives nearby, claims Alice molested him. Alice is sent to jail while awaiting trial, and Howard who can't afford her $100,000 bail must watch over their daughters and keep house by himself as he tries to keep the farm afloat. As Alice falls into a deep depression behind bars, Howard and Theresa begin edging into a romance. Based on the best-selling novel by Jane Hamilton, A Map of the World was adapted for the screen by Peter Hedges and Polly Platt and director Scott Elliott.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
All the heartstrings get tugged at once in A Map of the World, first-time director Scott Elliott's adaptation of the bestselling novel by Jane Hamilton. Sigourney Weaver stars as Alice Goodwin, a housewife and mother of two whose life begins to unravel after a tragic accident. There's some smart storytelling here, as the film carefully establishes the fabric of the characters' day-to-day lives -- Alice and her husband David Strathairn are transplanted city dwellers who have take up farming. When their idyllic existence is suddenly shattered, the jolt is genuine and sharp. Weaver is exceptionally well-cast as the beleaguered, guilt-ridden woman who confronts hard times with a stiff-lipped determination and growing belligerence, and Strathairn is perfectly matched as her strong-but-sensitive, understanding husband. The strong cast also includes Julianne Moore in a tear-filled performance as a woman wrestling with the grief of losing a loved one and Arliss Howard as a criminal defense lawyer who really seems to love his job. These performances and Elliott's deft handling of narrative make A Map of the World an assured and compelling debut.
All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
This awkward and truncated adaptation of Jane Hamilton's 1994 best-seller nonetheless boasts fine performances from David Strathairn, Julianne Moore, and Sigourney Weaver -- each actor doing what he or she does best. Weaver's turn as the urban refugee turned rural housewife falsely accused of sexual molestation and murder recalls her strong yet on-the-edge characters in both Death and the Maiden and the Alien films. Moore takes her usual luminosity to grief-ravaged yet defiant extremes as the woman whose child drowns on her best friend's watch. Strathairn plays a boxed-in yet fundamentally decent family man in a role not so different from the one he played in Limbo. Throw in a white-trash cameo from the always watchable Chloe Sevigny and you've got a wonderful cast in search of a great script. Unfortunately, they don't find it here as production designer and occasional screenwriter Polly Platt, working with What's Eating Gilbert Grape alumnus Peter Hedges, flips the picture back and forth from small-town reverie to woman-on-the-verge histrionics to courtroom melodrama and prison exploitation. By the time rookie director Scott Elliott cycles back to his final examination of marriage, friendship, and their mutual discontents, the film may have exhausted viewers looking for a more traditional arc. Nevertheless, for those who can follow its sometimes difficult shifts in plot and tone, Map of the World offers up great actors exploring weighty issues with gravity and poise.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/18/2001
  • UPC: 696306009238
  • Original Release: 1999
  • Rating:

  • Source: Polygram Usa Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sigourney Weaver Alice Goodwin
Julianne Moore Theresa Collins
David Strathairn Howard Goodwin
Ron Lea Dan Collins
Arliss Howard Paul Reverdy
Chloƫ Sevigny Carole Mackessy
Louise Fletcher Nellie
Dara Perlmutter Emma
Kayla Perlmutter Claire
Marc Donato Robbie
Sara Rue Debbie
Technical Credits
Scott Elliott Director
Willi Bar Executive Producer
Rainer Bienger Associate Producer
Suzette Daigle Costumes/Costume Designer
Naomi Geraghty Editor
Peter Hedges Screenwriter
Avy Kaufman Casting
Kei Art Director
Kathleen Kennedy Producer
Claude La Haye Sound/Sound Designer
Megan Less Set Decoration/Design
Frank Marshall Producer
Seamus Mcgarvey Cinematographer
Craig McKay Editor
Pat Metheny Score Composer
Laurie Mirsky Asst. Director
Lisa Niedenthal Co-producer
Polly Platt Screenwriter
Richard Toyon Production Designer
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