Off the Map
Review by Ross Anthony

Joan Allen is recently gaining some well-deserved notoriety for her film performances. I thought she was absolutely smashing in "The Contender." Sam Elliot, as well, is so full of charisma that it's growing out his ears, like hair on an old man. (Heck, I've got hair coming out of my ears too!)

For these two performers alone, I ventured off the list of big movies to this little film. My excursion was well worth the effort. Not only were they just as endearing as I'd expected, but young actress, Valentina d'Angelis, paints herself into the film with warm reds and cool blues.

In a gentle, un-hurried, New Mexico pace, the story lightly rises like a patient hot air balloon. It's the kind of film that you watch and marvel at, as you would a silver coyote prancing through the back woods. Amidst an unexplainable bleakness, a child's relentless ambitions poke into the adult world of bigger problems.

A charming film really, "Off the Map" explores the effects of depression on one particular individual and the family members of that individual. Serious and light, simultaneously, and sprinkled with quirky comedy, this is not a depressing film.

I laughed, I cried, I'm recommending this small sweet picture.

This film screened at a Laemmle Theatre.

  • Off the Map. Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring Joan Allen, Sam Elliott, Jim True-Frost, J.K. Simmons, Amy Brenneman, Valentina d'Angelis.
  • Directed by Campbell Scott.
  • Screenplay by Joan Ackermann.
  • Produced by Campbell Scott, George VanBuskirk at Holedigger.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:01:31 PDT