Author(s): Bryce M.
Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Written by: Ron Nyswaner, Akiva Goldsman, and Steve Conrad
Produced by: Brian Grazer, Steve Tisch, and Eric Fellner
Edward Burns as James Cowry
Jimmy Bennett as John Donner
Melora Walters as Vicky Donner
Tagline: "Came back to nothing, came home to something"
Synopsis: James Cowry has been in captivity for the last ten years. He was captured by terrorist, and was released after he was pronounced dead. Coming home, James finds out that everyone he loved is dead. His parents had died in a plane crash, his brother and sister were killed at gun point by a mugger, and his girlfriend has caught a deadly disease.
James was able to see his girlfriend, Vicky Donner, for one last time on her death bed, where she reveals he has a ten year old son they conceived before he was captured. As James witness his girlfriend's death, he makes it his goal in life to be a great father to his son, John Donner. Although child services does not want John in the hands of James, they give James a chance to prove himself as a father.
As James tries his best to start a relationship with John, he is haunted by his memories of when he was captured. Nightmares of his imprisonment haunt him each and every night, while the scars and trauma that was caused while he was captive is effecting his mind and ability to think clearly. These troubling problems start effecting his ability to raise John, and child services is taking notice.
James must try and fight his inner demons to become a great father for John, or he will lose another loved one
What the Press would say:
Imagine that you have been in captivity for ten years. Eating things that aren't meant to be ate, and living in conditions that no man is meant to live in. Your finally released, and the first thing you want to do is see your family. However your family is dead, and you learn you have a son that you didn't know about. This is the story of "Welcome Back", a touching story about a father's fight with himself in order to raise the only person left in this world that he loves. The movie is touching, dramatic, and will surely have people in tears as we see this man caught in something he cannot control.
The movie simply wouldn't be possible without the performance of Edward Burns. Burns, who has been known as a more charismatic actor, gives a chilling and dramatic performance that will surely earn him an Oscar nomination. Burns slowly is being tormented by his nightmares, and as the movie goes along, his physical condition is effected by his pain. He's also mentally unstable. Day dreams, and weird scenarios enslave Burns' mind at random. However, what makes the performance grand is how Burns' is able to portray a man who tries his hardest to ignore his own pains to appear as a million dollar man to his son. Fathers will walk out of the theater wanting to be this guy, and mothers will walk out wanting to marry this guy. There have been many great movie villains throughout history; some would say the number of great villains outweighs the number of great heroes. Even if that is true, Burns' character is one of the greatest heroes to grace the screen since Atticus Finch in "To Kill A Mockingbird", and Burns' performance rivals that of Gregory Peck.
Gus Van Sant masterfully directs this film much differently than his previous films. The atmosphere is tense and depressing one moment, than inspiring the next. However, the tense and depressing moments are done to an extreme, almost as if Van Sant is highlighting the inspirational scenes, so that they would have a greater impact on audiences.
With an earth shattering lead performance, phenomenal direction, great writing, a story that will touch everyone's heart, and a theme that is very powerful, "Welcome Back" is the dramatic movie of the year, and sure to be placed as one of the decade's best.
Best Director- Gus Van Sant
Best Actor- Edward Burns
Best Supporting Actress- Melora Walters
Best Original Screenplay- Ron Nyswaner, Akiva Goldsman, and Steve Conrad
Best Film Editing