Preview, Steve Carell loses himself in Zemeckis’s “Welcome to Marwen”

You might have seen the documentary “Marwencol,” when it made the rounds at film festivals almost a decade ago. Or on the “Independent Lens” PBS series.  It’s not a great film, but the story sticks with you.

A man, Mark Hogancamp, is injured in a mugging and copes with his brain damage, PTSD and general depression by creating this vast WWII diorama on his property using toy soldiers, GI Joe dolls and all manner of other toys and dolls to decorate it.

It’s like a melodramatic WWII TV series, filled with personal horror and graphic violence and spread out over this small scale battlefield, with Hogancamp taking Polaroids of tiny tableaux of his imagination –art on a meta and micro scale at the same time.

Jeff Malmberg’s quirky film made Hogancamp and this work of art immortal. But when you’ve got Steve Carell and Oscar winner Robert Zemeckis taking on the story, we’re talking a whole other level of fame.

Leslie Mann and Diane Kruger also star in this holiday (Oscar bait, Nov. 21) release.


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