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A Map of the World Details


In this contemporary drama, Sigourney Weaver plays a woman out of her element and at the end of her rope. Alice Goodwin is a wife and mother who finds that the pressures of her life are starting to become more than she can bear. Alice works part-time as a school nurse while her husband Howard (David Strathairn) runs the family farm; they both look after their two daughters. Alice, who wasn't raised in farm country, still feels like an outsider, and she embraces a cynical, sarcastic humor as a defense mechanism. Alice's only real friends in town are Dan and Theresa Collins (Ron Lea and Julianne Moore), who live nearby and often babysit Alice's kids; Alice does the same for the Collins children as well. One day, while watching Theresa's two-year-old daughter Lizzie, Alice has to step away for a few minutes, and she returns to discover Lizzie has fallen into a pond near the house; the child falls into a coma and dies several days later. Lizzie's death puts a permanent wedge between Alice and Theresa, and most people in the community believe Alice is to blame for the girl's death. Any support she might have had is driven away when Robbie (Marc Donato), a boy who lives nearby, claims Alice molested him. Alice is sent to jail while awaiting trial, and Howard (who can't afford her $100,000 bail) must watch over their daughters and keep house by himself as he tries to keep the farm afloat. As Alice falls into a deep depression behind bars, Howard and Theresa begin edging into a romance. Based on the best-selling novel by Jane Hamilton, A Map of the World was adapted for the screen by Peter Hedges and Polly Platt and director Scott Elliott. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:December 3, 1999


Awarded by
National Board of Review Julianne Moore Best Supporting Actress 1999 Winner
National Society of Film Critics Julianne Moore Best Supporting Actress (Runner-up) 1999 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Sigourney Weaver Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama 1999 Nominee


Sigourney Weaver
as Alice Goodwin
Julianne Moore
as Theresa Collins
David Strathairn
as Howard Goodwin
Ron Lea
as Dan Collins
Arliss Howard
as Paul Reverdy
Chloë Sevigny
as Carole Mackessy
Louise Fletcher
as Nellie
Dara Perlmutter
as Emma
Kayla Perlmutter
as Claire
Marc Donato
as Robbie
Sara Rue
as Debbie


Scott Elliott
Frank Marshall
Kathleen Kennedy
Peter Hedges
Polly Platt
Seamus Mcgarvey
Pat Metheny
Composer (Music Score)
Craig McKay
Naomi Geraghty
Richard Toyon
Production Designer
Lisa Niedenthal
Rainer Bienger
Associate Producer
Willi Bar
Executive Producer
Megan Less
Set Designer
Suzette Daigle
Costume Designer
Claude La Haye
Sound/Sound Designer
Laurie Mirsky
First Assistant Director
Avy Kaufman