German Frank Potente is another in a series of actresses who have recently decided to sit at a typewriter and then behind the camera. However, her screenwriting-directorial debut, made in a European production in America, did not go as close as the debut of Rebecca Hall’s “Passing”, especially Maggie Gyllenhaal’s debut “The Lost Daughter”. Potente became famous as an actress in the late 1990s in Tykwer’s “Run, Lola, Run”, and in the last twenty years she has also had successful trips to Hollywood. For her screenwriting-directing debut, however, she chose a typical indie theme for which she brought together an American cast, and the plot of “Home” takes place in an unnamed Texas town.
There, after a long absence, Marvin (Jake Mclaughlin) returns, a guy in his late thirties who we will soon find out has just been released from prison where he was for 17 years for murder. And he returns to one of those typical towns where practically everyone knows everything and where everyone still remembers well what Marvin did as a teenager. But it is the only home that exists for him and there is no other place where he can return. He seems to have changed and to be truly sorry for what he has done, but the question is whether there is forgiveness and redemption for him, all the more so because he cannot forgive himself aware of how many lives he has ruined by his act. Bernadette’s mother (Kathy Bates), who is in the terminal stage of lung cancer and has a few months left to live, is not particularly friendly towards him.
But, as is often the case in movies, Marvin’s paths will merge with a young nurse who earns a living by dealing drugs he steals from the hospital where he works, Delta (Aisling Franciosi), also the grandson of the woman Marvin once killed. Although Delta was still a child when her drugged Marvin killed her grandmother, she grew up in an environment that remembers very well what happened and her relatives are vindictive towards Marvin. Although it is somehow hard to believe that in this way the paths of two people with such a common history could be connected, Potente managed to make a satisfying film. In the foreground there are somewhat religious themes (the local priest is not by chance practically the only one who forgave Marvin and who advocates his reintegration into society) such as redemption and forgiveness, and the environment is interesting.
It is a typical devastated poor part of a small town in Texas, as we met in the recent “Red Rocket” by Sean Baker. But unlike the seasoned porn star Mikey from that much better movie though, Marvin is contrite, humble, and fully aware of what he did. Although with all these mighty tattoos and in a tracksuit in which he looks like some Russian mobster, he stoically endures everything that happens to him upon his return because he thinks he deserves punishment for what he did. When he reconnects with his once best friend, who has apparently completely failed because of drugs and lives in a poor caravan, it will be clear to Marvin what life would be like for him anyway. But he doesn’t really want such a life and he hopes that there is a future for him. Rating 6.5 / 10.
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