Welcome to Marwen is a 2018 American biographical comedic drama film directed by Robert Zemekis and produced by Jack Rapke, Steve Starkey and Robert Zemekis. The screenplay was written by Caroline Thompson and Robert Zemekis and was inspired by Jeff Malmberg’s 2010 documentary Marwencol.
Rated: PG-13 (movie contains sequences of fantasy violence, some disturbing images, brief suggestive content, thematic material and language)
Run Time: 1h 56min
Release Date: December 21, 2018 (USA)
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Director: Robert Zemekis
Studio: Universal Pictures
Budget: $39-50 Million
Box Office: $12.9 Million
Welcome to Marwen stars Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, Janelle Monae, Merritt Wever, Diane Kruger, Eiza Gonzalez, Gwendoline Christie, Leslie Harter Zemekis, Neil Jackson, Falk Hentschel, Stefanie von Pfetten, Siobhan Williams, Matt O’Leary, Nikolai Witschl, Conrad Coates, Patrick Roccas and Alexander Lowe.
Welcome to Marwen follows the true story of Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell), a man struggling with PTSD who, after being physically assaulted, meticulously creates a miniature model of a fictional Belgian town he calls Marwen to help him ease his trauma. No one expects Hogencamp to recover from a brutal attack from five neo-Nazis that nearly killed him and wiped away all of his memories.
Prior to the attack, Mark was a talented World War II illustrator but is left without the fine motor control to draw any longer. However, Mark is an artist at heart and turns his creative outlet to photography when he starts documenting life in Marwen. His astonishing art installation soon comes to life with breathtakingly realistic dolls — replicas of people in his life and a testament to the most powerful women he knows.
Going through scrapbooks allows him to put together pieces from the past and present as he tries to get a sense of what his life was before the beating. He was married to a real-life Wendy (Stephanie von Pfetten) at one point. Another set of photos show him in rehab with Julie (Janelle Monae), an Iraq vet who lost one of her legs. He is visited once a month by his Russian caretaker Anna (Gwendolyn Christie) and she like many people in Mark’s life, knows of Marwen and the fact that one of the dolls is based off of her. Hogencamp has a doll that represents himself and calls him Captain Hogie and he is a World War II fighter pilot.
Mark’s neighbor Nicol (Leslie Mann) comes over to introduce herself and sees Marwen in his yard and he gives her a tour. He shows her all of his dolls and shows her pictures he has taken. Mark explains to Nicol that his models in Marwen are based on people he knows and describes their roles in his life, as well as how “Marwen” is a combination of Mark and Wendy. He later acquires a new doll and names her Nicol and incorporates her into a scenario in which Captain Hogie is taken by the Nazis, and she joins the other women in a rescue mission.
Through his fantasy world, Hogancamp finds the strength to triumph in the real world and eventually face his attackers.
“One foot in front of the other. You got it, Mark. Embrace the pain. Our pain is our rocket fuel.” – G.I. Julie
“The life I once had was taken away from me, but I’m still here. I have hope, and I have my town, and I have my friends, and I’ll be okay.” – Mark Hogencamp
“They kicked every memory I ever had out of my head. Everything from before the attack is gone, so my dolls have to tell the story.” – Mark Hogencamp
“To life. To love. To the women of Marwen.” – Mark Hogencamp
Official Movie Trailer
Steve Carell as Mark Hogancamp / Cap’n Hogie
Leslie Mann as Nicol
Janelle Monae as G.I. Julie
Merritt Wever as Roberta
Diane Kruger as Deja Thoris
Eiza Gonzalez as Carlala
Gwendoline Christie as Anna
Leslie Harter Zemekis as Suzette
Neil Jackson as Kurt / Major Meyer
Falk Hentschel as Captain Topf / Louis
Stefanie von Pfetten as Wendy
Siobhan Williams as Elsa
Matt O’Leary as Lieutenant Benz / Carl
Nikolai Witschl as SS Trooper Rudolph / Rudy
Conrad Coates as Demaryius Johnson
Patrick Roccas as Stefan / Stevie
Alexander Lowe as Werner / Vern