Swanner: Welcome to Marwen follows Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell), a victim of a brutal beating by a group of young men. Left for dead, Mark regained his speech and his ability to walk but he has no memory of his life before the attack. Once a talented illustrator now he expresses his art with a camera as he uses dolls and miniature sets to heal.
Based on a true story, Oscar winning director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) and his co-writer Caroline Thompson (Nightmare Before Christmas) brings Mark’s story to life, both his real world but also the world that Mark has created to cope with the terror that still haunts him. In this special world we meet Hogie, a world war 2 hero, and his band of women that protect him. All the women are based on real life women that have helped Mark through his recovery.
Carell gives a lovely, vulnerable performance of this broken man. The rest of the cast is made up of Leslie Mann, Merritt Wever, Diane Kruger, and others playing both their real life characters and their animated selves. Welcome to Marwen is a wonderful little film that may be flawed, but it shows us a piece of this man’s life and his unique way of healing. I hope this sweet film finds it’s audience.
Swanner: 3 stars