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Welcome to Marwen (2018)

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A victim of a brutal attack finds a unique and beautiful therapeutic outlet to help him through his recovery process.

Director:

Robert Zemeckis

Writers:

Robert Zemeckis (screenplay by), Caroline Thompson (screenplay by)
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Popularity
104 ( 52)

What Steve Carell Loved Most About Being a Doll

Steve Carell and the cast of Welcome to Marwen talk about being transformed into "way better-looking" versions of themselves, and share the secret of playing plastic perfectly.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Carell ... Mark Hogancamp / Cap'n Hogie
Falk Hentschel ... Captain Topf / Louis
Matt O'Leary ... Lieutenant Benz / Carl
Nikolai Witschl ... Rudolph / Rudy
Patrick Roccas ... Stefan / Stevie
Alexander Lowe ... Werner / Vern
Eiza González ... Carlala (as Eiza Gonzalez)
Leslie Zemeckis ... Suzette
Merritt Wever ... Roberta
Gwendoline Christie ... Anna
Stefanie von Pfetten ... Wendy
Janelle Monáe ... GI Julie
Leslie Mann ... Nicol
Neil Jackson ... Kurt / Major Meyer
Samantha Hum ... Therapy Tech
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Storyline

On April 8, 2000, aspiring artist Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) became a victim of a violent assault when five men beat him up and left him for dead. Following the attack, Mark was left with little to no memory of his previous life due to brain damage inflicted by his attackers. In a desperate attempt to regain his memories, Hogancamp constructs a miniature World War II village called Marwen in his yard to help in his recovery. Unfortunately, Mark's demons come back to haunt him when he's asked to testify against the five men that attacked him..

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Director of FORREST GUMP Invites You to a Most Unexpected Place See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence, some disturbing images, brief suggestive content, thematic material and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan | USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

21 December 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Women of Marwen See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$39,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,366,560, 23 December 2018, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$10,763,520, 17 January 2019

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,463,520, 17 January 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (DTS: X)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The seventh Universal's live-action/animated hybrid film, after Casper (1995), The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000), Paul (2011), Hop (2011), Ted (2012) and Ted 2 (2015). See more »

Goofs

Mark tells Nicol dolls cannot close their eyes. Yet there are some instances later on where Nichol has her eyes closed. See more »

Quotes

Mark Hogancamp: I was beaten up because I was different, so I've built a place where I can heal.
See more »

Connections

References Back to the Future (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

STAND BY YOUR MAN
Written by Billy Sherrill and Tammy Wynette
Performed by Tammy Wynette
Courtesy of Columbia Nashville
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Going against the trend by using more plastic.
3 January 2019 | by bob-the-movie-manSee all my reviews

It's unusual for me to go into a film knowing so little about it: no trailers other than a snippet that showed it was Steve Carell starring and appearing as a plastic figure of himself. That's it. Period. After watching the film this evening, I've been astonished to see that it has TOTALLY BOMBED at its opening weekend in the US. Because personally I really enjoyed it.

For once, I'm not going to go near the plot, since going into this movie cold was a genuine pleasure. All I'll do is set up the situation: that Steve Carrell plays Mark Hogancamp who is an artist who's constructed a model installation of a WWII Belgian town - Marwen - in his back-yard. Against this backdrop he is photographing epic WWII encounters between his plastic alter-ego, Captain Hogie, and various other figures, some friend, some foe.

It sounds completely bonkers. And indeed it is. For the first quarter of the film, I was really trying to grasp whether I should be reaching for a very low IMDB rating or not. But the screenplay, by director Robert Zemeckis and "Edward Scissorhands" writer Caroline Thompson, is clever in only disclosing its hand slowly and with the minimum of exposition. For me, the very best sort of storytelling. (Even at the end of the film there were some elements of the story still left unexplained... who, for example, was Deja Thoris (Diane Kruger) based on? I can guess... but only guess). Gradually the pieces of the jigsaw came together and I started to warm to it more.

But then something odd happened. Steve Carell got in my head. I suddenly got 100% invested in what happened to Mark to the point where - with a car tyre involved... you'll know the bit - I suddenly realised I was sat bolt upright on the edge of my cinema seat. I don't get that level of emotional engagement that often.

Carell is without doubt a superb actor. We saw it with "Foxcatcher". I've seen it again in the (soon to be UK-released) "Beautiful Boy". Here he delivers what I think is an EXTRAORDINARY performance: and if it wasn't for the sniffy reviews, and the bad box office word of mouth I feel Carell should surely have been - no pun intended - a shoe-in for an Oscar nomination.

Elsewhere in the cast, most of the other characters - many female (it's certainly not the most on-trend politically correct movie!) - spend most of their time in plastic form, so it's difficult to comment on their performances. But the talented combination of Janelle Monáe, Gwendoline Christie, Eiza González (from "Baby Driver"), the statuesque Stefanie von Pfetten and Diane Kruger all turn up. Getting the most 'real world' screen-time though is Leslie Mann as Mark's new neighbour Nicol ("without the e"). And very good she is too.

The repeated and seamless flips between the real-world and Marwen are artfully done and the plastic characters are beautifully realised. Yes, it's CGI but its really cleverly done CGI. A delicate balance between the photo-realism of Pixar and the clunky puppetry of Team America.

We even dip in at one point to some full on Sci-Fi where Zemeckis can't help but delve into an aspect of his past filmography: scenes that made me laugh out loud.

One of the benefits of the model scenes is that they can get away with some pretty extreme puppet-on-puppet violence that would have definitely not got it a UK-12A certificate otherwise! A shout out also to Zemeckis-regular Alan Silvestri, who delivers a lovely soundtrack including a really cheeky Great-Escapesque little motif.

I've praised the screenplay for its reserve and intelligence, but on the flip-side there are a number of elements that don't sit well: There are a few extremely dodgy lines that jerk you out of the story (and I'm not talking about the deliberately tongue-in-cheek ones, as many of them are); some of the humour (and there are some good gags in here) seems somewhat misplaced within the overall tone of the film; the film verges towards the overly melodramatic at times, bringing to my mind the old Harrison Ford flick "Regarding Henry"; and a few of the characters seem to be messily discarded without further comment (Nicol's 'boyfriend' Kurt (Neil Jackson) for example).

I didn't pay much attention to the opening statement on the screen. Which made the closing caption, after so much fantasy, act as a stun grenade on me. Mark Hogancamp is a real American, and the film is based on real events! There is a 2010 documentary based on the guy called "Marwencol" which I haven't seen but would like to: many people on the internet rave about it. This seems to be part of the negative reaction: many who love the documentary don't want to see the memory sullied by a dramatic work of fiction.

But I really enjoyed this one. It has its flaws, sure, but my rating completely ignores the critics and the public view (which irritatingly seems to be largely based on "word of mouth" - what an evil phrase - rather than people who've ACTUALLY SEEN IT). My recommendation would be to ignore the bad press, go see it, get through the first quarter with your mouth agape ("We are not a codfish Michael") and then go to One Mann's Movies and tell me what YOU thought.

(For teh full graphical review, go to One Mann's Movies on the web or Facebook. Thanks).


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