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A Map of the World

Director:Scott Elliot
Writer:Peter Hedges and Polly Platt
First Look Pictures; R; 125 minutes
Release:12/99
Cast:Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, David Strathairn, Chloe Sevigny

City sophisticates move to a rural town, but instead of finding the quiet life, they encounter troubles by the busload. Alice (Sigourney Weaver) rubs nearly everyone the wrong way, particularly the kids and parents she deals with as school nurse. When Alice accidentally allows her neighbor's (Julianne Moore) daughter to drown, things take a sharp turn into ruin. The accusation of sexual abuse by a schoolboy weeks later lands her in jail.

A Map of the World is a strong drama. The ending brings in some compromise, but largely it takes an unflinching look at the enormous strains on one woman and her family. The supporting cast is particularly good: Julianne Moore, Chloe Sevigny, and David Strathairn all hold the story aloft.


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