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Based on 18 critic reviews provided by
One of the best qualities of Map of the Human Heart was that I never quite knew where it was going. It is a love story, a war story, a lifetime story, but it manages to traverse all of that familiar terrain without doing the anticipated.
A marvelous breakthrough, a film of incantatory intensity and moment by a prodigiously gifted young filmmaker.
Ward's "Map" is a wildly ambitious film and, often, a wildly beautiful one--and if it isn't quite a masterpiece, if we sense that Ward's resources aren't enough for the World War II London scenes, in the end, any flaws or lapses simply may not matter. Movies, especially ones with a broad epic canvas and international logistics, don't often get this intimate. They don't give you such a sense of nerves stripped raw, joy or misery nakedly expressed.
Spanning three decades, Map of the Human Heart is one of those rare films that illuminates a single human story, and does it so well that you're hardly aware you're watching a movie.
An immensely ambitious and audacious love story spanning 30 years and two continents.
Fate intervenes at an indecent rate, serving up plenty of misunderstandings, but the mise-en-scène is stunning. Go with the floe.
Far more memorable for the spectacular wildness of its Arctic and Dresden scenes (as photographed by Eduardo Serra) than for its uneven efforts to bind such images together.
Ward's ambitions for this project far outstripped the intentions and capacities of its screenplay.
Scott Lee gives a surprisingly strong performance as the Inuit who falls in unrequited love with Albertine. If you can overcome the almost-too-coincidental fact that they are assigned to the same Air base several years later allowing them to be together again then this pleasing romantic drama could just be for you.
Cult New Zealand director Vincent Ward (THE NAVIGATOR) pushes perhaps a little too hard for popularity with this oddly truncated, though engrossing, epic.

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