Friday, January 6, 2012

Some Prefer Living Off The Map

An odd but loving family lives a slow organic life on an isolated New Mexico ranch. Charley is a silently-depressed veteran. Arlene is his Hopi Indian wife, who gardens in the nude. Bo is their charismatic daughter. She uses time, creativity and good old-fashioned hard work to build a solid business: mail fraud.

George is their sweet half-witted friend. He considers proposing marraige to his new therapist, because she's the only woman who really listens to him. William is an IRS agent. His financial audit is supposed to get to the bottom of this caring, cashless and clueless bunch who don't fit well into the boxes on a government form.

Charley treats his depression with drugs, but doesn't improve much, until he focuses on helping someone else. (Readers with seasonal blues: try nature's remedies - a balance of aerobic and resistance exercise, early-to-bed-early-to-rise consistent sleep, veggies and whole grains and lean meats rather than processed carbs, brief daily doses of sunshine, a higher purpose, and sex. If natural remedies don't relieve depression, prescription medication may be the best option. Doctors disagreeing with all this are urged to give a full name plus comment, so we'll know who the drug company's butt-boys and bitches are.)

Off The Map is a film to remind us that it's not a sin to deviate from the herd. (However, it may be a crime.) Perhaps, a tender but weird family is an option that deserves a little more respect among the hordes of rich, cool and soul-less people-clusters often called families today. These New Mexico nuts are more than they're cracked up to be. This movie offers the profound suggestion that flyover-country losers may be mocked in New York but still have the last laugh when the golden sun sets over the desert.


  1. I haven't heard of it, but a film featuring Sam Elliott, Joan Allen, and JK Simmons is well worth the time.

  2. interesting and very good.