MARWEN — "Welcome to Marwen" was marketed as one of 2018's best tearjerkers, but instead, it ended up being one of 2018's biggest disappointments.
While I could go on for a while about why this Steve Carell-led true story was such a letdown, that's Dave Clyde's job and you can see his full review here (LINK WHEN REVIEW IS POSTED).
Instead, I'm here to let both parents and potential viewers know what they can expect to see in "Welcome to Marwen" before they head to the theater.
This review, as is the case with all our parents reviews, is not meant to tell you whether you should let your kids see the movie or if you should go see it. This review is meant to give you some context about what kind of content is in "Welcome to Marwen" so you can make an informed decision.
Here's what parents need to know about "Welcome to Marwen":
"Welcome to Marwen" tells the story of Mark Hogancamp, an illustrator who was severely beaten one night and woke up with no memory of his previous life and an inability to draw. He turns to photography and setting up an entire town called Marwen where he sets up dolls in a World War II setting and tells their stories.
The film jumps from reality to the world of Marwen and there is actually plenty of violence in both worlds. In the real world, we get flashbacks of the brutal attack Hogancamp suffered, and in the Marwen world, we get all kinds of violence.
It may be dolls the violence is happening to, but we still get bloody shootings, impalings, bodies ripped in half, shots to the head and all kinds of gruesome ways to dispatch of a doll.
There is also torture and a surprising amount of blood in the doll world. Again, this is supposed to be less intense since it's happening to plastic dolls, but it's still fairly graphic and can be disturbing.
While I don't recall any so-called R-rated words in "Welcome to Marwen," there is some adult language and conversations. Cursing isn't constant throughout the film, but there are moments and harsh things are said especially between the dolls.
I wouldn't say the language is worse than most PG-13 movies, but as most of you know, that can still be quite a bit.
The idea of sex and physical attraction is a big component of "Welcome to Marwen."
Much of the movie focuses on Hogancamp's loneliness and fondness for women. In Hogancamp's Marwen, all the dolls are women except for him and the Nazis.
The female dolls are all dressed in revealing clothing and there are multiple times when a doll's breasts are exposed. It's played for comedic effect and the doll chests resemble a Barbie doll's, where the shape is apparent, but there are no nipples.
There is also a scene with several hand-drawn pictures of a woman's bare breasts. Another scene shows Hogancamp watching the beginning of a pornographic film and reveals a woman in thong underwear showing her bare backside and a lot of cleavage.
Sex is a focal point of the film and there are a lot of nods to it. If the dolls had been real people instead of computer-generated, my guess is "Welcome to Marwen" would definitely get an R rating.
The entire tone of the movie is heavy. The film is depressing and deals with addiction, loneliness, suicide, hate crimes and mental illness. These make for a darker tone for the film that keeps the audience on a down note for most of the time.
"Welcome to Marwen" skirts the line of PG-13 and R very closely and I have no doubt it captured the PG-13 rating thanks to most of the graphic stuff happening to CGI dolls and not people.
"Welcome to Marwen" is rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence, some disturbing images, brief suggestive content, thematic material and language.