Henry Poole is Here – DVD Review
By June L. Feb 10, 2009, 16:33 GMT
Henry Poole is Here tells the funny, poignant and uplifting story of a disillusioned man who attempts to hide from life in a rundown suburban tract home only to discover he cannot escape the forces of hope. ...more
What would you do if you bought a house as a temporary residence, and suddenly a stain on an outside wall began to look like Jesus? That is what happens to Henry Poole, and the complications from that miraculous portraiture won’t stop. Luke Wilson stars in this off beat comedy about hope.
Henry Poole is Here is the type of film you watch and enjoy, but will surprisingly remember at odd times especially when life throws the unexpected your way. Desperate and disillusioned, Henry Poole buys a house in a quiet neighborhood and hopes to retreat from life there, but life won’t let him hide away.
A new stain on the stucco looks like Jesus to his next door neighbor (Adriana Barraza) and she wants to have it verified as a miracle. Her priest (George Lopez) seems to be more like Henry in thinking it is coincidence.
His other neighbor a sweetly sad divorced woman (Radha Mitchell) has a daughter Millie (Morgan Lily) who doesn’t speak, but who is drawn to the wall. And Chery Hines as Henry’s real estate lady is determined that he see the value of his new property and get interested in it. What is a guy to do?
Henry Poole is Here has comedy, drama, miracles and lessons, and all in the environs of a normal everyday neighborhood. There are some great lines, and wonderful acting. In spite of the fantasy feel to the film, you know these people.
They are your friends and neighbors, and it is very easy to see yourself as Henry. In some ways the idea that all life is connected is played out in the story, as Henry deals with the miraculous “portrait” he has to connect with the people around him, and examine his own disillusionment.
Henry Poole is Here is presented on single disc, with a running time of 99 minutes. English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available as well as Spanish subtitles. There are some nice special features with the film. First there is an audio commentary with Director Mark Pellington and Writer Albert Torres.
It is a great way to learn even more about the intent of the film. There is a “making of “ featurette with cast and crew interviews, and “All Roads Lead Home” music video. Something different is included, The Henry Poole is Here music video directed by Mark Pellington and performed by the myspace.com Theme Song Contest winner Ron Irizarry. The theatrical trailer for the film rounds out the special features.
Luke Wilson does a fine job as Henry, wounded and a real jerk at times, he is never totally unlikeable. The viewer wants to understand what is making him so uncaring, and as we see Henry’s story develop, we learn about those around him. Perhaps coincidences are the real miracles in life.