Better on paper
Directed by: Michael Mayer
Written by: Michael Cunningham
Starring: Colin Farrell, Dallas Roberts, Robin Wright
Scripted by the Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Cunningham, A Home at the End of the World doesn’t work as a film as much as it might in its original novel form. While the characters have an interesting history, growing up through the fascinating contexts of the 60s and the 80s, A Home at the End of the World strips the drama from what could be an intimate story.
Bobby (Farrell) and Johnny (Roberts) are best friends. Johnny is an outsider until Bobby finds him and charms his way into his family. Bobby, on the other hand, loses his entire family and finds himself completely alone – especially when Johnny leaves for college. When the two are reunited years later, their intimate past gets tangled in their present, making it difficult for each of them to understand how much they have changed.
The performances in the film are at an impressive standard but fail to have conviction and power due to poor casting. The relationships that connect each of the three characters in pairs and as a trio need to be as electric and engaging as the ideas that they explore, including homosexuality, loss and friendship. Unfortunately, the individual performances of Farrell, Roberts and Wright never really connect to provide the compelling qualities that seem inherent to Cunningham’s characters and story. The same can be said of the film’s direction, which could have treated the story with more sophistication and depth than the conventionality it imparts on characters and dramatic situations that are everything but conventional.