A Home at the End of the World (2004)

Plot: The movie chronicles the lives of Bobby (Colin Farrell) and Jonathan (Dallas Roberts), two childhood friends who meet as students in a suburban Ohio school. From the moment they meet, Bobby and Jonathan are inseparable. For Jonathan, the unconventional Bobby is a connection to a larger world; while for Bobby, Jonathan’s family and in particular Jonathan’s mother Alice (Sissy Spacek) represents a kind of stability that he hasn’t known.

As they grow up, the boys grow apart only to reunite in New York where, together with the free-spirited Clare (Robin Wright), they invent a new kind of family.

Director: Michael Mayer

Writing Credits: Screenplay by Michael Cunningham based on his novel.

MPAA rating: R for strong drug content, sexuality, nudity, language, and a disturbing accident.

Cast: Colin Farrell, Robin Wright Penn, Dallas Roberts, Sissy Spacek, Matt Frewer, Andrew Chalmers, Ryan Donowho, Erik Smith, Harris Allan, Shawn Roberts, Joshua Close & Wendy Crewson.

Music by: Duncan Sheik

Genre: Drama

Budget: $6,500,000

Filming Dates: 4 April 2003 – 23 May 2003

Filming Locations: New York, USA / Phoenix, Arizona, USA / Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

USA Release Date: 23 July 2004

Box Office USA: $1,029,017 | Widest Release: 65 Theaters

Runtime: 95 minutes

Robin Wright as Clare

‘A Home at the end of the world’, based on a novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham, tells of an unorthodox, three-way love affair between Clare (Robin Wright), her gay roommate (Dallas Roberts) and his best friend (Colin Farrell).

For the role of Clare, the filmmakers needed an actress who could make sense of the character’s contradictions. They found their perfect Clare in Robin Wright.  “She is a deeply brilliant film actress who can just sail with a part like this,” says producer Tom Hulce, “And Robin Wright is always fascinating to watch.”

For Robin Wright, Clare was a woman whose love of Bobby and Jonathan was what she needed but, in the end, couldn’t have. “We’re all born with that need to have a family or a home. But sometimes you can’t find everything in one person. Nor will you ever…it’s that sadness of love. And Clare realizes that.”

“It’s kind of a Marlene Dietrich/Greta Garbo/mod/punk/disco look,” says costume designer Beth Pasternak of the kaleidoscopic outfits sported by Wright’s character, Clare. “It’s very unique to her; it’s just a soup of everything people were wearing then.”

A haberdasher with a trust fund (in the book she makes earrings), Clare spends her time combing the vintage shops for rare finds, dressing up and partying.

She first makes an appearance dressed in a sky-blue cheong-sam, teamed with pink tights; she’s wearing chopsticks in her dreadlocked, multi-colored hair and elaborate geisha-girl make-up.

Over the course of the film, she mixes and matches turbans and velvet opera gloves, leopard-skin coats and yellow sneakers, skinny-lapel jackets and 1950s crinolines, and sports a dizzying array of wigs.

“Clare is essentially a drag queen trapped in a woman’s body,” says writer Michael Cunningham, “She is someone who is simply alive and relatively young at a particular moment in history when the lid was off the box in places like New York and San Francisco. It was like one big costume party. She lives in these elaborate outfits almost the way a recluse might live in a cluttered little apartment,”.

The production of ‘A Home at the end of the world’ had a shooting schedule of 34 days. Principal shooting was done in Toronto with a few additional days in Phoenix and New York. For director Michael Mayer, it was challenging from day 1 to day 34. “We had 4 time periods, 4 seasons, 4 major locations three actors playing Bobby, two actors playing Jonathan, one very short schedule and no overtime.”

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