Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Henry Poole is Here

Henry Poole is Here
Luke Wilson, Radha Mitchell, Adriana Barraza, George Lopez,
Cheryl Hines, Richard Benjamin, Morgan Lily and Rachel Selferth

Rated: PG 
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: August 15,2008 Released by: Overture Films

Henry Poole is Here is different than what we have generally see on the screen in recent releases. It's a film about faith, hope and understanding, with rather ordinary characters who are far more effective together than alone.

Dr. Francher (Richard Benjamin) gives little room to open a door to his patient Henry Poole (Luke Wilson) in his diagnosis which drives Henry back to his childhood neighborhood to remember happier days. The twist of faith is caused by his realtor, Meg (Cheryl Hines), who gives him more in the sale of the house deal than he expects.

Next door neighbor Esperanza played very effectively by Adriana Barraza who made a mark in Babel a couple of years ago, is a believer when she notices what she calls a face on the blue stucco wall at Henry's new home. Using her determined faith she brings in Catholic Father Salazar played with believability by George Lopez, to make a ruling on the miraculous qualities of the disfigured stucco.

A heart warming little pixie like girl named Millie (Morgan Lily) watches the wall and Henry; she understands more than expected but has not spoken a word since her father disappeared a year before. She has her own play world near bricks and written words. Henry takes an interest in Millie but even in his depressed state he is more interested in her mother comfortably played by Radha Mitchell.

Mixed with drama and comedy we see Henry working to defend his property from the faithful who flock to see the wall, he only sees the light after the house falls in on him. But the wall works effectively for Patience (Rachel Seiferth), the lady at the grocery register who discards her thick glasses after touching the wall.

The juxtaposed position of Henry's practical explanation for the wall and the faith of others is pleasant to watch. Not since Millions which dwelled on a child's belief in the saints to help him distribute millions of British pounds which he believes came from heaven, have we seen a fairly wide distribution of a film which sees comedy and belief in one package.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Henry Poole is Here  B      D-      D            C- 

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