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Movie Review: Map of the World

Story: Beware of movies that open and close with an off-screen narrator. This does not bode well, because a film should be able to explain itself after 127 minutes, no? It is based on the best selling Oprah pick (who by the way, conveniently, appears in clips in the film) by Jane Hamilton (I did not read the book but I did pick it up a dozen times at Barnes and Noble but kept returning it to the shelf), and directed by first time film director Scott Elliot (of the NY theatre). The film was released briefly in December to qualify for the Oscars (ha!) so it technically still qualifies as part of last year's films and accordingly will be added to my Worst List of '99. (For my new readers, the list will be repeated at the end of this review). It could easily have been a Liftime TV movie. I did not care for the characters, it was lifeless, predictable and boring. It is basically about tragedy, loss and false accursations. A lot of bad things happen to people I did not care about.

Acting: I think other critics are overly fond of Sigorney Weaver and therefore are usually very kind to her. I, on the other hand, find much ado about nothing. David Strathairn (a John Sayles staple) returns to the stoic, repressed husband role he has played in the past. Julianne Moore (yes, again), in her 300th film of the year, is consistently good, but I think she needs to take a long vacation - she is suffering from overexposure.

Pets: A beautiful grey tabby and some livestock.

Visual Art: Some children's art and fingerpainting

Sappy Factor: 5

Soundtrack: Lots of violins.

Tissue Usage: 1 (I couldn't help it).

Length: 7 minutes over the 2 hour rule, but it seemed much longer.

LOBO HOWLS: 3 - The winter film blight begins.