A Home at the End of the World
June 29, 2005
A Home at the End of the World (2004) chronicles the relationship between two friends and how it endures through the ups and downs of their lives. Much was made of a Colin Farrell’s nude scene—so much so that the director removed the scene from the movie. Regardless, it’s a thoughtful character study, the kind of small, independent film that eschews the superficiality of most Hollywood dramas in favour of a more personal approach.
Jonathan and Bobby were best friends in high school. Bobby lost his older brother and then his mother early on in life. It shapes who he is and creates a void where an older mentor or some kind of parental guidance should be. This loss can be seen in the way he looks at Bobby’s mom (Spacek). When his father dies in his teens, Jonathan’s parents take Bobby in and he finally gets the complete family he’s always yearned for. He and Bobby share all kinds of secrets and even start experimenting together sexually.
Flash-forward several years and the two boys have grown up and gone their separate ways. Jonathan (Roberts) is openly gay and now lives in New York City while Bobby (Farrell) has stayed in Cleveland working at a bakery. He decides to leave Ohio and stay with Jonathan and his colourful roommate, Clare (Wright Penn). Jonathan and Clare plan to have a baby together—they clearly have their own dynamic and Bobby changes it with his presence. What develops is a complex relationship between the three of them.
The three leads are very good. Colin Farrell’s Bobby is conflicted and confused—the residual of his natural family’s death still clings to him. He delivers a contemplative performance that shows versatility as an actor. He can easily move between big budget Hollywood films like The Recruit (2003) and edgy indie films like Tigerland (2000).
Dallas Roberts’ Jonathan was never close to his parents and feels resentful towards Bobby for being the son they always wanted. Roberts does a good job of conveying the unsaid tension that exists between them. Finally, Robin Wright Penn’s Clare is an adventurous spirit caught between these two men. Farrell, Roberts and Wright all deliver gutsy performances devoid of inhibitions. There is an honesty and intimacy that is well done.
“The Journey Home” is a Making of featurette. Director Michael Mayer explains that it is a movie about family and three characters trying to make a life together. He speaks eloquently about the film as do Spacek, Wright Penn and Roberts. It’s a shame that Farrell was not present to talk about his character.
There is also a theatrical trailer.
A Home at the End of the World is about people trying to connect with each other. They feel adrift and just want to be loved. These characters, especially Bobby, are looking for a family and find it not necessarily in their own flesh and blood but with other people that they are able to forge a meaningful relationship with