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21st December
written by Adam

Beaten within an inch of his life, a wildly talented artist, Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) gains the mental strength to overcome his greatest fears and anxieties through artistic expression, more specifically, action figures posed in an imaginary WWII Belgian village known as Marwen. In Marwen, Mark’s closest friends, confidants, and protectors are all women, which happen to also be women of significance in Mark’s real life (Leslie Mann, Janelle Monae, Stefanie von Preteen, Merritt Wever, Leslie Zemeckis, and Eiza Gonzalez). It’ll take the power of his strong women to pull him through his darkest hours, will he ever manage?

Written by Robert Zemeckis and Caroline Thompson and Directed by Zemeckis, this visually compelling re-enactment and embodiment of life with PTSD from the artist’s perspective makes for an interesting and endearing case study of the human mind. However, past the first act and the film’s initial shock and awe of transitioning from Marwen to the real world and back, somehow the magic seems to run out leaving our female heroes to sit in their archetypes and do relatively little, and likewise Hogancamp just as enigmatic as ever, bummer. What initially appears to be something akin to Thurber’s Secret Life of Walter Mitty sadly more so resembles a scribbled idea on a napkin needing further fleshing out and emotional development. Best considered a rental later. Welcome to Marwen is rated PG-13.

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