Maybe dolls are not just for children. When talented artist Mark Hogencamp is jumped by a group of Neo-Nazis and nearly beaten to death, he is left without his ability to paint. Instead, he begins crafting a World War Two miniature set in his backyard. He creates small dolls that resemble the people around him, with a lead character that looks exactly like him. The small village with its collection of colorful characters, helps him to cope with the troubles of the real world. When he is forced to attend the trial of the men who assaulted him, he brings along his crew of dolls and their real life counterparts to protect him.
The fantasy genre is vast and difficult to define. Robert Zemeckis describes his upcoming film as a psychological-biographical comedy drama. Welcome to Marwen stars Steve Carell as artist Mark Hogencamp. The film also features a powerhouse of leading ladies as Hogencamp’s crew including Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger, Janelle Monae, and Gwendoline Christie.
The trailer for Welcome to Marwen is strange yet enticing. We see a broken man struggling to cope with his PTSD; and to do so, he creates a fictional world where he surrounds himself with powerful women to protect him. Steve Carell has crafted an intensely vulnerable and likable character, unburdened by the machismo that taints most leading men of late. Leslie Mann plays a gentle neighbor that moves in next door and strikes up a friendship with Carell. Director Robert Zemeckis is best known for his world renowned film, Forrest Gump; another film that featured an unlikely leading character and a story that pulled at the heartstrings. If Robert Zemekis’s new debut is half as successful as Forrest Gump was, we might have a new classic on our hands.
Welcome to Marwen features not only a unique story but a unique style of animation. With the help of CGI, Hogencamp’s collection of dolls are brought to life intermingling the real life story with the fantastical imaginings of our leading man. With unique CGI, a poignant story, and likable characters; the film looks new and exciting. It has a fresh flavor, and is a film unlike any other. It is undeterred by cliches and marketable products. Welcome to Marwen promises to be a film entirely its own. Check out the trailer to see for yourself.