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A Home at the End of the World [2004 film]
by Michael Mayer (Director), Michael Cunningham (Screenwriter)
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This film chronicles a dozen years in the lives of two best friends, charting a journey of trials, triumphs, loves and losses. Now the question is: can they navigate the unusual triangle they've created and hold their friendship together?
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)791.43The arts Recreational and performing arts Public performances Film, Radio, and Television Film
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Movie fans accustomed to seeing Colin Farrell playing brash, cocksure characters that seem to be extensions of his real-life persona will certainly be surprised by his mature, accomplished performance in this offbeat drama. Farrell plays Bobby Morrow, a young man desperate to belong to a family after losing his own while still a very young child. Having lived for many years with his best friend, Jonathan Glover (Dallas Roberts), Bobby has developed the knack of pleasing people; more than anything else, he wants happiness for those around him, so that their contentment will enable him to remain part of a love-suffused environment. When Jonathan, a gay man, moves to New York and becomes part of an unconventional household that also includes the free-spirited, romantically unattached Clare (Robin Wright Penn), Bobby eventually joins them -- and is ultimately forced to choose between the two, based on one's need for him. Director Michael Mayer adapts the novel of the same name by Michael Cunningham (author of The Hours) with unusual sensitivity, painting both the traditional and nontraditional family units with deft brushstrokes that add subtle color and detail to their portraits. He deserves special credit for holding Farrell in check: The young Irish actor usually plays characters whose self-centeredness drives the plot to one extent or another, but his Bobby Morrow is just the opposite type -- someone whose unceasing efforts to please others and promote happiness makes him an enigma even to those closest to him. The story is rife with opportunities for melodramatic excess, but Mayer steadfastly refuses to yield to such temptations, and the result is an uncommonly even-tempered (and evenhanded) movie that shows life as something more than a series of conflicts. The performances are exemplary, with Farrell's tour de force nearly matched by the superb supporting turns of Penn, Roberts, and Sissy Spacek (playing Jonathan's mother). Such outstanding work makes this Home one worth visiting. Ed Hulse
All Movie Guide
Directed by Michael Mayer and based on The Hours author Michael Cunningham's novel of the same name, A Home at the End of the World chronicles the 1980s reunion of childhood best friends Bobby (Colin Farrell) and Jonathan (Dallas Roberts). Where they were once best pals -- and teenage lovers -- in the suburbs of Cleveland, Bobby has become a charismatic but go-nowhere heterosexual slacker, and Jonathan is now living as an openly gay man in New York City, hoping to serve as father to his eccentric roommate Clare's (Robin Wright Penn) child. When Bobby impulsively moves to the city to be closer to his former friend, their bonds are tested sooner than anyone would have thought. Bobby falls for Clare, and in doing so, effectively eliminates what would have been Jonathan's position in the baby's life. Jonathan temporarily takes off; when his father dies, and he attends the Arizona funeral, Bobby and Clare unexpectedly turn up with the news that she's expecting. Despite the still-existent tensions, the trio becomes a family unit among themselves, ultimately buying a house in Woodstock, Upstate New York, where they all move together, challenging traditional notions of family, commitment, love, and devotion. ~ Tracie Cooper, All Movie Guide