This article is a Guest Post about Off the Map movie contributed by Tina Ferguson, CEO of Tina Ferguson International.
“You don’t have a penny in the bank, but your house is paid for … beautiful wife … great kid. Your life is yours. I think you’re a genius,” says the IRS agent sent to audit Charley and Arlene, a couple who live off the grid in New Mexico.
This line captures the feeling of freedom this movie exudes from every screenshot. For me, this entire movie was a spiritual experience of really living in the present. I found myself spellbound by the New Mexico scenes and the breathtaking cinematography. As a writer, I drank in the beautiful words that seemed to effortlessly tumble out of each character’s mouth. I found myself rewinding the Off the Map DVD over and over again during the movie to taste the lines again and again…something I’ve never done before and haven’t done since. Yes, it is that special.
Each character had its own full-bodied energy. It felt as if each one moved in its own gentle way along with the others in a pack – fully an individual, yet intricately interwoven into a lush, expansive tapestry that leaned against expansive skies and landscapes. This movie is about finding freedom in the truth. This theme is part of what my life purpose is all about, perhaps that is why my heart so readily dove into its bounty.
The cast is limited…probably less than seven people total in the entire movie. The original play lists five. You’ll meet Arlene played by Joan Allen who likes to garden in the nude. Sam Elliot is her husband, Charley, who is battling a major depression. Jim True-Frost makes an appearance as a wandering IRS auditor who finds Arlene and Charley nearly overpowering in their truth. Bo is Arlene’s and Charley’s only child and she narrates the story in a beautifully poetic way that unites the past and present in poignant detail. Each character is simple. They are flawed yet deliciously irresistible in the uniqueness of facing their own issues. Ultimately, they are completely acceptable on their own merit by simply being who they are.
After I watched this movie, I wanted to know who directed this cinematography that took my heart into New Mexico, who wrote those wonderful words that spoke to my soul. Campbell Scott directed the film. Maybe you know him. He has only been in nearly 100 movies and TV programs. I had no idea he was a director. Google him and you’ll probably say, “Oh, that guy…yeah I know him.” I watched the director credits on the DVD and he talked about using the New Mexico landscape as another character. Boy, did he do that and then some. Joan Ackermann is the screenwriter for this touch of genius. This is what she has to say about the story.
“Bo Groden looks back on the summer when she was eleven years old and everything changed. Serving as narrator, she sifts through the memories of an unusual childhood spent in the wilds of northern New Mexico where her enterprising parents forged a rich life off the land and the local dump. Desperate to escape as a child, longing for modern amenities and normalcy, now she yearns to go back. This is the summer when Charley, her father, spiraled into depression. Usually able to build and fix anything, he is unable to fix himself, but the family carries on, thanks in large part to the earthy strength of Arlene, Bo’s resourceful mother.”
George, Charley’s lifelong friend, offers watercolors and silence. Lonely for her father’s companionship, Bo amuses herself by writing letters for free samples, and praying for a miracle to deliver her from a mother who gardens in the nude and a father who can not stop weeping. The miracle arrives in the form of William Gibbs, a displaced IRS agent who arrives in a fever and never leaves. As the artist within William emerges, each member of the family is touched and affected. By the time a boat arrives at the end of the play, the family’s sails have been filled. This off-beat evocative comedy has a compelling and lyrical quality. Through unswerving love and compassion, the characters stumble into glimpses of self-discovery and unexpected moments of grace.
Moments of grace indeed. Give yourself one (many) and watch this film one lazy afternoon when you have all the time and space in the world to soak in its brilliance.
This article was written by Tina Ferguson.
About Tina Ferguson International & Tina Ferguson
Tina Ferguson International creates programs and experiences for women whose greatest passion is to serve others. Our intention is to encourage you to fully express all that you are each day and to live a truly abundant life in all ways – spiritually, financially, physically, intellectually, energetically, and emotionally. We do this by creating a safe environment for you to explore what is truly available within your heart, and by providing programs that support you to share what you find within it. By creating together, we believe that our collective example will go out like a ripple to encourage others to believe authentic living and purposeful creation is possible.
Visionary Catalyst Tina Ferguson, a.k.a., The Queen of Dreams, is CEO of two companies – Tina Ferguson International and Rapid Success Partners. She is an internationally recognized and award-winning author and intuitive-strategic consultant who has accelerated the path to wealth creation for business owners and individuals. She loves to ignite the fire inside of people to create what they dream of and to serve others in the process.
For more information about Rapid Success Partners, please click here.