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Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
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Frank John Hughes,
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A film that should be applauded or at least admired for what it has to say
"A Map of the World" is easily one of the most honest films I've ever seen. The merits go specially to a very fine cast and a clever, well written screenplay. Sigourney Weaver really shines here, in an Oscar caliber performance, as Alice Goodwin, a woman who is not afraid to show what she is feeling. She is married, has two young girls, lives in a farm and works at a school nursery. Her life seems calm, but happy, until a terrible accident happens, followed by a sad mistake, and her life falls apart.
"A Map of the World" had everything to be a bland and conventional film, but it is not. I have to say that I don't give any merit to the direction- this is indeed the main problem. The director doesn't captivate the audience, and doesn't seem to care about that. There are many slow moments and scenes that could have been cut. But "A Map of the World" is a rarity- a very good film with mediocre directing. Who is the miracle maker? Sigourney Weaver, surely. She shows passion for acting and an incredible strength as Alice Goodwin. I can't imagine anyone else playing Alice, because Sigourney is perfect building her character. The Oscar was gone, but I put Weaver on my list of snubbed stars this year. But she doesn't work alone- Julianne Moore is here, and when she is in you can expect much. I'm a fan of Ms. Moore since I've seen her in "Short Cuts", and now that I've seen "Magnolia" (if you've read some of my reviews you know how much I praise "Magnolia") I'm starting to adore this lady. She shines even in slapstick comedies as "Nine Months"... There's nothing she can't do!
Getting back to "A Map of the World", I have to say that I appreciated very much its screenplay. It was written with strength, trying to escape of the clichés even in courtroom scenes. There are many beautiful messages the film has to pass and it should be admired for this. It shows that everyone commits mistakes, more than one time, and that is why we are ordinary people, with qualities and flaws. We should learn with ourselves and with the others. We should believe in ourselves and try to cope with our mistakes. The film has messages like these to learn, and many others, resulting in a complex study of people in conflict.
I truly recommend "A Map of the World", despite its flaws. Watch it for Sigourney, Julianne and the messages and forget the weak directing. It is a worth seeing.
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