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Home at the End of the World

A Home at the End of the World

4.5 4
Director: Michael Mayer

Cast: Colin Farrell, Robin Wright, Dallas Roberts

Directed by Michael Mayer and based on The Hours author Michael Cunningham's novel of the same name, A Home at the End of the World chronicles the 1980s reunion of childhood best friends Bobby (Colin Farrell)


Directed by Michael Mayer and based on The Hours author Michael Cunningham's novel of the same name, A Home at the End of the World chronicles the 1980s reunion of childhood best friends Bobby (Colin Farrell) and Jonathan (Dallas Roberts). Where they were once best pals -- and teenage lovers -- in the suburbs of Cleveland, Bobby has become a charismatic but go-nowhere heterosexual slacker, and Jonathan is now living as an openly gay man in New York City, hoping to serve as father to his eccentric roommate Clare's (Robin Wright Penn) child. When Bobby impulsively moves to the city to be closer to his former friend, their bonds are tested sooner than anyone would have thought, when he falls for Clare, and in doing so, effectively eliminates what would have been Jonathan's position in the baby's life. Jonathan temporarily takes off; when his father dies, and he attends the Arizona funeral, Bobby and Clare unexpectedly turn up with the news that she's expecting. Despite the still-existent tensions, the trio becomes a family unit among themselves, and ultimately move to a house in Woodstock, upstate New York, challenging traditional notions of family, commitment, love, and devotion.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Movie fans accustomed to seeing Colin Farrell playing brash, cocksure characters that seem to be extensions of his real-life persona will certainly be surprised by his mature, accomplished performance in this offbeat drama. Farrell plays Bobby Morrow, a young man desperate to belong to a family after losing his own while still a very young child. Having lived for many years with his best friend, Jonathan Glover (Dallas Roberts), Bobby has developed the knack of pleasing people; more than anything else, he wants happiness for those around him, so that their contentment will enable him to remain part of a love-suffused environment. When Jonathan, a gay man, moves to New York and becomes part of an unconventional household that also includes the free-spirited, romantically unattached Clare (Robin Wright Penn), Bobby eventually joins them -- and is ultimately forced to choose between the two, based on one’s need for him. Director Michael Mayer adapts the novel of the same name by Michael Cunningham (author of The Hours) with unusual sensitivity, painting both the traditional and nontraditional family units with deft brushstrokes that add subtle color and detail to their portraits. He deserves special credit for holding Farrell in check: The young Irish actor usually plays characters whose self-centeredness drives the plot to one extent or another, but his Bobby Morrow is just the opposite type -- someone whose unceasing efforts to please others and promote happiness makes him an enigma even to those closest to him. The story is rife with opportunities for melodramatic excess, but Mayer steadfastly refuses to yield to such temptations, and the result is an uncommonly even-tempered (and evenhanded) movie that shows life as something more than a series of conflicts. The performances are exemplary, with Farrell’s tour de force nearly matched by the superb supporting turns of Penn, Roberts, and Sissy Spacek (playing Jonathan’s mother). Such outstanding work makes this Home one worth visiting.
All Movie Guide
The title A Home at the End of the World gives off both an optimistic and a pessimistic vibe, simultaneously, which is appropriate for a film that can't figure out what its tone should be. For example, the plot follows the protagonist (Colin Farrell's Bobby) through the deaths of a half-dozen important family members and friends, yet Duncan Sheik's dopey score is better suited to an annoyingly whimsical romantic comedy. That dopiness is, however, well suited to Farrell's performance. Despite the succession of traumas his character endures, his attitude rarely changes from that of a pseudo-hippie naïf. It's hard to tell whether that's a reflection on director Michael Mayer's vision for the character, or Farrell's limitations as an actor, but it rings terribly false. Other than these traumas, the plot focuses almost exclusively on a soggy love triangle between Bobby, his childhood best friend/love interest, Jonathan (Dallas Roberts), and the wacky artist (Robin Wright Penn) Jonathan lives with sort-of platonically, whose hair is dyed a different color in every scene. The only performer among these that registers, even remotely, is Roberts, while Wright Penn throws out all her best instincts, playing the character as absurdly indistinct and shallow. Meanwhile, the action gets side-tracked by red herrings, such as the apparent physical attraction between Bobby and his surrogate mother (Sissy Spacek). While this never goes anywhere, the occasional presence of Spacek does distract us from the self-indulgent vagaries of the central trio. There are interesting ideas about sexuality, free love vs. monogamy, family and the AIDS crisis buried somewhere in A Home at the End of the World, screaming to get out. But since they are nullified by the film's overall banality, they remain homeless, as it were.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Colin Farrell Bobby Morrow
Robin Wright Clare
Dallas Roberts Jonathan Glover
Sissy Spacek Alice Glover
Erik Scott Smith Bobby (1974)
Harris Allan Jonathan (1974)
Andrew Chalmers Bobby (1967)
Ryan Donowho Carlton Morrow
Joshua Close Reiner
Matt Frewer Ned Glover

Technical Credits
Michael Mayer Director
Jeffrey Steven Authors Asst. Director
Edward Bonutto Art Director
Keith Bunin Screenwriter
Jim Carnahan Casting
Enrique Chediak Cinematographer
Linda Cohen Musical Direction/Supervision
Robin D. Cook Casting
Michael Cunningham Screenwriter
Douglas Ganton Sound/Sound Designer
John Hart Producer
Michael Hogan Executive Producer
Tom Hulce Producer
Robert Kessel Co-producer
Pamela Koffler Producer
Beth Pasternak Costumes/Costume Designer
Lee Percy Editor
Julia Rask Co-producer
Katie Roumel Producer
Jeff Sharp Producer
Michael Shaw Production Designer
Duncan Sheik Score Composer
Jocelyn Hayes Simpson Co-producer
Bradford Simpson Co-producer
John Sloss Executive Producer
Mark Steel Set Decoration/Design
Christine Vachon Producer
John Wells Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Nothing to Fear [2:25]
2. Window Pane Joy [2:44]
3. Window Pane Sorrow [3:26]
4. Perfect Fit [3:55]
5. And Mom Makes Three [4:47]
6. Together in Bed [3:07]
7. Last of His Kind [2:11]
8. Just Love, Man [2:34]
9. Something Useful [4:16]
10. New York [4:27]
11. A Little Free [4:03]
12. Halfway Thing [2:02]
13. Adept Couplings [6:11]
14. A Little Extra [5:20]
15. Separate Ways [3:56]
16. I Hereby Bequeath [4:02]
17. Funny Family [3:47]
18. And Baby Makes Four [2:33]
19. The Home Café [2:56]
20. More Normal Thing [2:27]
21. Jonathan on the Spot [3:27]
22. What Bobby Couldn't Do [2:17]
23. Wanna Dance? [4:00]
24. Going Away [5:23]
25. A Very Good Home [4:11]
26. End Credits [6:13]


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A Home at the End of the World 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a compelling film. I saw it at a theater that shows independent films and I will buy the DVD for my home library. The acting was superb. This movie stayed with me a long time. It really proves a family can be however you make one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The performances were excellent.
Jenn0710 More than 1 year ago
A Home At The End of the World is one of my favorite movies. The acting is superb by Colin Farrell and Dallas Roberts, but once again, Robin Wright Penn steals the show. Her turn as free-spirited and independant Clare really made the movie for me. I had read the book before I had seen the movie and upon viewing it I was awestruck at how well Penn had nailed Clare. Penn is one of the most underrated actress' of our time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago