Henry Poole is Here

( 3 )

Overview

Given a grim diagnosis during a routine doctor's checkup, a man who once had it all finds his attempt to disappear into a working-class suburb and spend his remaining days subsisting on vodka and junk food hopelessly disrupted when he falls for the beautiful divorcée next door and a busybody neighbor notices a miraculous stain on his stucco wall. Henry Poole Luke Wilson had a comfortable life and a beautiful fiancée. But just when it seemed that the future couldn't look any brighter for Henry, a visit to the ...
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Overview

Given a grim diagnosis during a routine doctor's checkup, a man who once had it all finds his attempt to disappear into a working-class suburb and spend his remaining days subsisting on vodka and junk food hopelessly disrupted when he falls for the beautiful divorcée next door and a busybody neighbor notices a miraculous stain on his stucco wall. Henry Poole Luke Wilson had a comfortable life and a beautiful fiancée. But just when it seemed that the future couldn't look any brighter for Henry, a visit to the doctor's office casts a dark cloud over his sunny outlook. Shattered, Henry wants nothing more in life than to simply vanish into his surroundings, and what better way to accomplish that feat than to purchase a cookie-cutter house in a working-class suburb and spend his final days awaiting the inevitable in peaceful solitude. Unfortunately for Henry, his new neighbors aren't about to let the handsome neighborhood newcomer spend his days sulking. The first to stop by and welcome Henry to his new home is local yenta Esperanza Adriana Barraza, who comes knocking on his door with a fresh plate of homemade tamales and laundry list of questions. Later, after taking notice of sad-eyed divorcée Dawn Radha Mitchell and her taciturn eight-year-old daughter, Millie Morgan Lily, who hasn't spoken a work since her father left, Henry finds his self-imposed exile shattered when Esperanza notices a stain on his stucco wall that seems to possess miraculous powers. Before Henry can say "Hail Mary," Esperanza is leading pilgrimages to the "holy site" in his backyard and inviting Father Salizar George Lopez to give his blessings to the sacrosanct blemish. As skeptical as Henry may be about the healing powers of the curious apparition, however, his growing friendship with young Millie not only brings him closer to Dawn, but also proves to him that there's no escaping the power of hope. Cheryl Hines, Richard Benjamin, and Jessica Walter co-star in a wry existential comedy drama penned by first-time feature film screenwriter Albert Torres, and directed by Mark Pellington Arlington Road, The Mothman Prophecies.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Henry Poole Is Here is a crazy good little movie, but some smart viewers are likely to accuse it of peddling Christianity, and therefore, reject it. But that's not what Mark Pellington's film is doing. Rather, it's taking the classic Weekly World News chestnut of the image of Christ seen in a waffle, and rather than treating it as comic fodder, instead asking the question: "What if?" The holy host is actually not a waffle, but a water stain on a stucco wall of a suburban California ranch house. But it encourages one of those great science-vs.-faith dialogues that always nourishes the mind, regardless of a person's affiliation. Pellington has put a huge amount of thought into constructing this movie, and the result is a hidden gem enriched by a perfectly selected soundtrack. In a performance no one would guess he could give, Luke Wilson plays a depressed man who buys a ramshackle house at full asking price, dropping hints he won't be there long. Screenwriter Albert Torres smartly holds back the cause of Henry's malaise -- just one example of the script's knack for producing information at exactly the right moment. But Wilson gives his all to both this malaise and his character's deeply felt skepticism, never resembling the guy who sleepwalks through his less demanding roles. Because of this performance, the others around it are even stronger -- the nosy neighbor who first identifies the supposed "face of God" Adriana Barraza, the gawky grocery clerk who pries into Henry's sadness Rachel Seiferth, the little girl who seeks meaning by tape recording conversations Morgan Lily, and her mother Radha Mitchell, who wonders when the girl might talk again. Lily in particular displays ridiculous talents for an actress her age. What's brilliant about Pellington's film is that this paint splotch is never clearly Christ, nor clearly not Christ -- sometimes it's a glimpse of a possible savior, other times it looks like a bunch of runny lines. Henry Poole Is Here isn't here to make up your mind for you. It just exists to expand it.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/5/2010
  • UPC: 013138013699
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Time: 1:41:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Luke Wilson Henry Poole
Radha Mitchell Dawn
Adriana Barraza Esperanza
George Lopez Father Salazar
Cheryl Hines Meg
Richard Benjamin Dr. Fancher
Morgan Lily Millie
Rachel Seiferth Patience
Beth Grant Josie
Jessica Walter
Technical Credits
Mark Pellington Director, Executive Producer
Michael Aguilar Executive Producer
Deborah Aquila Casting
Michael Babcock Sound/Sound Designer
Wendy Chuck Costumes/Costume Designer
Lisa Churgin Editor
William Paul Clark Asst. Director
Beth de Patie Co-producer
John Frizzell Score Composer
Gary Gilbert Producer
Richard Hoover Production Designer
David Kern Co-producer
Tom Lassally Producer
Gary Lucchesi Producer
Steven A. Morrow Sound/Sound Designer
Eric Reid Executive Producer
Norman Reiss Executive Producer
Tom Rosenberg Producer
Eric Schmidt Cinematographer
Karen A. Steward Art Director
Albert Torres Screenwriter
Shelley A. Wallace Set Decoration/Design
Tricia Wood Casting
Richard S. Wright Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Just believe

    Is it so hard to believe that God wants to reach everyone with a message of love? This is a great movie. Luke Wilson is told a lie and he resists God the whole way through the movie. God is reaching out to him and using other people as examples of His healing powers. God heals today just as he did in the days of the disciples. Just believe and receive. If your heart is hardened to the super natural powers of God you will not be able to understand this movie. The person that wrote this movie understands and shows the unbelievers that God is reaching out to anyone that will listen to Him. It is the free will of people to choose God's love and receive life or choose to continue in this world of sin and lies and receive death.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Stupendously Heavy Handed and Empty

    I really wish I could give this a 0. To a small degree, it does deserve one star because the ending is so unintentionally hilarious that I cackled like a hyena at the preposterous "spiritual" message. If this is the sort of movie that Evangelical Christians think will persuade people to their side, they've got another thing coming. Subtelty is definitely not the movie's strong suit, though I believe that in some odd way, the film was supposed to be subtle. Honestly, I'm really not sure how the film's director would have pulled this off, as the script's religious undertones are not so much implied as screamed. By the end of the film, God is being bashed over poor Luke Wilson's head with such fervor that the viewer actually begins to receive stigmata.

    Also, the description of the film on the back of the DVD case (the Netflix version) is wholly inaccurate. Upon reading said description, there's a sense that the viewer is in for an acerbic, vitriolic performance by Wilson (amid stuffing his face with Twinkies and guzzling copious amounts of alcohol). There is an implication that Wilson will be drunk throughout the movie, which is not the case. And the caustic attitude touted on the back of the DVD case? Mild at worse; after all, this film is rated PG.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews