The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - View from the couch -

Di­rec­tor and co-writer Robert Zemeckis’ (“Back to the Fu­ture”) am­bi­tious fan­tasy-drama – some­what amaz­ingly, based on a true story

– takes the un­usual ap­proach of us­ing dolls to con­vey the psy­che of a pho­tog­ra­pher (played by Steve Carell, a good choice for the part) who suf­fers ex­treme stress in the af­ter­math of be­ing as­saulted. The cam­era­man in­vents a vil­lage named Marwen and uses the dolls to act out var­i­ous roles mir­rored by peo­ple in his life, cast­ing him­self as a World War II pi­lot, as he tries to steel him­self to give a vic­tim-im­pact state­ment at his at­tack­ers’ sen­tenc­ing. Les­lie Mann, Diane Kruger, Mer­ritt Wever (“Nurse Jackie”), singer­ac­tress Janelle Monae and film­maker Zemeckis’ wife Les­lie also are in the cast. ★★★ (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On De­mand)

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