Welcome to Marwen ★★½

In the rare event when a major Hollywood studio advertises one of its films as “the most original movie of the year” — as Universal has done in the trailer for “Welcome to Marwen” — it tends to be code for: “We spent a ton of money on something that we have absolutely no idea how to sell.” And while that was certainly the case here, it’s hard not to sympathize with the poor souls in the marketing department, who were tasked with promoting a story that director Robert Zemeckis had no idea how to tell. In hindsight, it seems they did the best they could. As disconcerting as it was when the previews for “Welcome to Marwen” reduced the complicated and ineffably human saga of Mark Hogancamp into a glossy inspirational fable about the power of friendship, it’s even more disconcerting to find that the film itself does much the same thing.

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