Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Off the Map


This is a special little film made by the actor Campbell Scott, who also made Big Night. He’s definitely an actor’s director. It’s hard to describe the delights of this movie without giving too much away, and a plain description doesn’t actually sound that appealing. It’s told from the viewpoint of a 12-year-old girl living deep in the New Mexico countryside with her mother and father. No electricity, no phone, hardly any money, but they’re doing fine … except the father is totally crippled by clinical depression. He doesn’t know where it came from, or what to do about it. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? But Joan Allen and Sam Elliott and the girl, Valentina de Angelis, along with great support from J.K. Simmons and Jim True-Frost, make it work. It has a hypnotic quality at times, and a great sense of humor. See it.