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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Off the Map

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Leisurely paced but ultimately affecting story (based on a play by Joan Ackermann) of the unconventional Groden family living in virtual isolation in New Mexico -- a husband (Sam Elliott) suffering from such depression he barely speaks; a mother (Joan Allen) who sometimes gardens in the nude; a precocious 11-year-old daughter (Valentina De Angelis) with a mind of her own; and the Internal Revenue Service agent (Jim True-Frost) who comes to see them about unpaid back taxes and who is so charmed by their bohemian lifestyle he decides to stay. Peculiar as the synopsis may sound, actor Campbell Scott's second solo directorial stint is actually a rather sweet story with a positive message about the value of family and love, and features solid performances all around, including that of J.K. Simmons as the husband's best friend. Fleeting, shadowy nudity, some crass language and brief sensuality. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Columban: Columban was the greatest of the Irish missionaries who worked on the European continent. As a young man who was greatly tormented by temptations of the flesh, he sought the advice of a religious woman who had lived a hermit’s life for years. He saw in her answer a call to leave the world. He went first to a monk on an island in Lough Erne, then to the great monastic seat of learning at Bangor. 
<p>After many years of seclusion and prayer, he traveled to Gaul (modern-day France) with 12 companion missionaries. They won wide respect for the rigor of their discipline, their preaching, and their commitment to charity and religious life in a time characterized by clerical laxity and civil strife. Columban established several monasteries in Europe which became centers of religion and culture. </p><p>Like all saints, he met opposition. Ultimately he had to appeal to the pope against complaints of Frankish bishops, for vindication of his orthodoxy and approval of Irish customs. He reproved the king for his licentious life, insisting that he marry. Since this threatened the power of the queen mother, Columban was deported to Ireland. His ship ran aground in a storm, and he continued his work in Europe, ultimately arriving in Italy, where he found favor with the king of the Lombards. In his last years he established the famous monastery of Bobbio, where he died. His writings include a treatise on penance and against Arianism, sermons, poetry and his monastic rule.</p> American Catholic Blog There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church—which is, of course, quite a different thing. –Bishop Fulton Sheen

 
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