Welcome to Marwen
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About this movie
Director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future) has always gone his own way relative to the rest of the Hollywood mainstream, so it comes as no surprise that his latest drama is a rich brew of the strange and idiosyncratic. Based on the true story of artist Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell), the film relates how Hogancamp dealt with extreme memory loss and personality changes (due to a severe beating) by creating a miniature Belgian town called Marwencol (here shortened to Marwen), populating it with action figures—and then photographing the characters in scenes from a WWII drama that existed only in his own head… Jumping back and forth between Hogancamp’s damaged reality and the motion-capture adventures of “Captain Hogie” (an eerily animated Carrel) and his all-woman band of Resistance fighters (played by Leslie Mann, Merritt Wever, Eiza González, Gwendoline Christie, Janelle Monáe, and Leslie Zemeckis), Zemeckis offers a unique, haunting, and ultimately uplifting take on how one man turned trauma into art.
‘Eccentric and touching… The VFX… comment on and commingle in provocative ways with Hogancamp's maladjusted existence. Zemeckis doesn't treat the live-action scenes like respite or filler; he uses them to illuminate the many ways in which his protagonist's dream life encroaches on his verisimilar terrors and trepidations… The story's knotty aspects reverberate under its… surface. In the guise of a glossy entertainment, Welcome to Marwen gets at some unnervingly irresolvable truths about humanity.’—Keith Uhlich, Hollywood Reporter