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A Home at the End of the World

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Jan
A Home at the End of the World
from Film Forum, 08/12/04

Colin Farrell (Daredevil, Phone Booth) stars in A Home at the End of the World, an adaptation of the novel by Michael Cunningham, who also wrote The Hours. Farrell plays a man who is in love with his gay best friend. But he's also in love with a heterosexual woman. The novel won a Pulitzer Prize, but the film is earning mixed reviews.

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says the film "is by turns tender and trite, vacillating between literary meatiness and Hollywood superficiality. But whatever is good about the film—including solid performances from an ensemble cast—is eclipsed by its homoerotic elements and morally murky attempts to redefine traditional ideas of family and human sexuality in more malleable, relativistic terms. In wrestling with questions of loss and loneliness, the film, while maintaining the humanity of its characters, promotes a disturbing postmodern attitude that thumbs its nose at conventional mores, especially in regard to family life and sexual morality."

J. Robert Parks (Looking Closer) writes, "The marketing tagline for the movie is 'Family Can Be Whatever You Want It to Be,' and that pretty much tells you what you need to know. Though the movie is set in 1982, its message is contemporary and unfortunately vapid. Fortunately, the acting is great. Director Michael Meyer has a nice way with his characters, and their relationships feel authentic. It's odd that the story … seems autobiographical, with numerous details that ring true, and yet the main character is so obviously a fantasy of some kind."

from Film Forum, 08/19/04

Elliott also takes in A Home at the End of the World and considers the love triangle at the center of the story: "The film carries us through the various stages of their deepening bond as well as the situations which threaten it … but we never connect with any of the characters or understand what they are feeling at any given moment. The script by The Hours scribe Michael Cunningham is contrived and largely aimless."

Mainstream reviews are available here.