Urban Cinefile
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated December 18, 2014 - Editions No 928, 929, 930, 931 

Search SEARCH FOR A DVD
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Newsletter Options - Registration is FREE Help/Contact

HENRY POOLE IS HERE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Henry Poole (Luke Wilson) is suffering from an existential crisis when faced with his imminent death. But the discovery of a 'miracle' by the snoopy neighbour Esperanza (Adriana Barraza) and the young daughter of another neighbour Dawn (Radha Mitchell), start a series of events that restores his faith in life.

Review by Louise Keller:
With his hangdog expression, we are not surprised to learn that Luke Wilson's Henry Poole has a good reason to be solemn. His face looks as though his life is over and soon we discover that his days are numbered. It's a curious film and in many ways, it is the fact that we become curious about the characters and where they are all heading, that keeps us intrigued. Director Mark Pellington was inspired to make this film about faith after the loss of his wife, but there is something contrived about this story in which people with major problems find a resolution.

It takes us a little while to get used to Henry Poole. He just wants to be left alone, this unshaven, melancholy, odd kinda guy, who buys a house without negotiating the price, drinks his alcohol straight from the bottle and gets upset when his neighbour is neighbourly and brings him welcoming plates of food. And when his neighbour Esperanza (Adriana Barraza) thinks she sees the face of Christ in a paint stain on his house, she brings the local priest as well as a series of women to see her discovery. Then there's the little girl next door who inexplicably records conversations on her portable tape recorder. Her mom Dawn (Radha Mitchell) becomes Henry's love interest but not until we discover that little Millie, who hasn't spoken for more than a year since her dad left, starts talking. Then there's the bespectacled Patience (Rachel Seiferth), the patient supermarket check-out girl who rings up Henry's umpteen bottles of booze, and the revelation after she touches Henry's wall.

It's all a bit airy fairy and I couldn't help but get annoyed at the fact that Esperanza constantly pops into Henry's back yard but he never complains enough to deter her. It's a well-meaning film and the relationships (especially that between Henry and Dawn) bring some satisfying moments. The performances are fine but this is not one of Luke Wilson's better roles; perhaps Pellington's script idea works better as his catharsis than it does entertainment.

DVD special features include Commentary with Director Mark Pellington and Director of Photography Erich Schmidt; Commentary with Director Mark Pellington and Writer Albert Torres; Broad Selection of Optional Commentary; All Roads Lead Home Music Video; MySpace.com Song Writing Contest Winning Music Video; Deleted Scenes; The Making of Henry Poole is Here.

Published April 23, 2009



Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

HENRY POOLE IS HERE: DVD (MA)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Luke Wilson, Radha Mitchell, Adriana Barraza, George Lopez, Cheryl Hines, Richard Benjamin

PRODUCER: Gary Gilbert, Tom Lassally, Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg, Richard S. Wright

DIRECTOR: Mark Pellington

SCRIPT: Albert Torres

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Eric Schmidt

EDITOR: Lisa Zeno Churgin

MUSIC: John Frizzell

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Richard Hoover

RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9

SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentaries; All Roads Lead Home Music Video; MySpace.com Song Writing Contest Winning Music Video; Deleted Scenes; The Making of Henry Poole is Here.

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: February 18, 2009

UPCOMING EVENT
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, Sydney.

Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.







Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2014