Flavorwire just listed 10 of the Most Romantic Movies You Haven't Seen and on that list is Vincent Ward's Map of the Human Heart. The film is a love story that spans thirty years in several continents. Ward talked about his film in the Washington Post and explained he wanted Map to be about "a kind of all-pervading romantic longing."
Map is a love story about people who are separated by great distances and still remain connected. Or for their whole lives have a longing for their absent other half. I wanted to see if I could express what that feels like.
Ward said the idea of the film came from a similar situation in his own life.
You know where the two people chase each other from continent to continent, leaving messages at each other's hotels, constantly missing each other - all that...it became sort of an obsession, where you feel desperate to be with the other person, as if you would die if you were separated. I became fascinated by that sense of longing for another person.
Many film critics hailed it as 'one of the best films of the year' when it was released and Roger Ebert loved the film so much he brought it back to the screen for his film festival, Ebertfest, which focuses on films that have been overlooked by the public. Here's an excerpt from his review.
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. The screenplay, by Louis Nowra, based on a story by Ward, deals with familiar emotions but not in a familiar way. The best movies seem to reinvent themselves as they move along, not drawing from worn-out sources, and Map of the Human Heart is one of the year's best films.