Socially inept garbage man Simon is befriended by Henry Fool, a witty roguish, but talentless novelist. Henry opens a magical world of literature to Simon who turns his hand to writing the ...
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A ten-years-later continuation of Hal Hartley's "Henry Fool", where Fay Grim (Posey) is coerced by a CIA agent (Goldblum) to try and locate notebooks that belonged to her fugitive ex-husband (Ryan). Published in them is information that could compromises the security of the U.S., causing Fay to first head to Paris to fetch them ...
Henry and Fay's son Ned sets out to find and kill his father for destroying his mother's life. But his aims are frustrated by the troublesome Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even his arrival in the lives of the Rifle family.
Bitter about being double-crossed by the women he loved, (and with the police after him to boot), Bill vows to seduce the next woman he sees, then throw her away. His brother Dennis, ... See full summary »
Robert John Burke,
Isabelle is an ex-nun waiting for her special mission from God. In the meantime, she is making a living writing pornography. She meets Thomas, a sweet, confused amnesiac who cannot remember... See full summary »
Jude, a college literature professor, falls for one of his students. She is more interested in the empirical experience of a relationship with a man whose life is ruled by the themes of the... See full summary »
The same situation is played out in different cities (New York, Berlin and Tokyo). A lover has to choose whether to commit to a partner who is returning home. In each case there are other ... See full summary »
Robert John Burke,
The end of the millenium has taken on a certain significance in modern day prophecies. What happens if Jesus Christ has second thoughts about the Apocalypse? It is December 31, 1999 and New... See full summary »
After being thrown out of her house, Maria encounters a married woman who complains of not having children. Maria ends up in an abandoned house, where she meets Matthew. When a baby is kidnapped Maria sets out to find the woman.
Socially inept garbage man Simon is befriended by Henry Fool, a witty roguish, but talentless novelist. Henry opens a magical world of literature to Simon who turns his hand to writing the 'great American poem'. As Simon begins his controversial ascent to the dizzying heights of Nobel Prize winning poet, Henry sinks to a life of drinking in low-life bars. The two friends fall out and lose touch until Henry's criminal past catches up with him and he needs Simon's help to flee the country.Written by
Josh Mueller <email@example.com>
I worked, while you sat back and comfortably dismissed the outside world as too shallow, stupid and mean to appreciate your ideas.
Is that such a priority? Is that some sort of measure of a man's worth? To drag what's best in him out into the street so every average slob with some pretense to taste can poke it with a stick?
Maybe. Maybe it is.
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Hartley's Masterpiece: An epic, dark comedy with heart and soul and bruises.
If Hal Hartley were never to make another film, he could easily go down as having created a genuine American Masterpiece with "Henry Fool." Hartley takes this material and stamps it with heart and soul and distance. It's like staring at a palette of beautiful colors - then stepping back to realize it's a bruise. Henry is never less than this astonishing.
As Henry,Thomas Jay Ryan gives what is easily the best film debut I've seen in many years. None of the wimpy whispery-voiced drivel that passes for acting these days (from even some of our best screen actors) his performance practically pops off of the screen like a fart at a funeral. The rest of the cast - James Urbaniak, Parker Posey, Maria Porter, Kevin Corrigan, et al. - are on the same inspired level, but it's obvious why the film is named after Henry. I cannot wait to see this man in more.
Obviously allegorical, "Henry Fool" fairly teems with its laundry list of symbolism both quaint and profound, easy and impossible. I found my cheeks hurting from the smile stretching across my face for much of the film. Other moments had my eyes welling with tears at the beauty and pain these oh, so deceptively simple lives toil through.
This is not, obviously, a film for all audiences, there is something of the fairy tale here and while suspension of disbelief is required, it is also its own reward. Actually the characters, though larger than life, are so evenly and wondrously drawn as to become recognizable to all of us as ourselves or others in our own lives. Here we weigh out the seemingly unfair advantages we perceive "others" has having, the pronouncements of self-worth and desire for acceptance and understanding.
Hartley's dialogue is equal to the visual aspects of his film: almost stagey (in the good sense), but with a direct honesty that many, unfortunately, will find offputting. His cast delivers these perfectly placed pronouncements with all the gravitas demanded of the situation - and sound natural doing so. It's a beautiful film to listen to.
Aside from the brilliant storytelling, "Henry" is also beautiful to look at. Hartley's cameramen lens a Queenscape most unusual one never quite feels he knows where it's taking place, despite obvious "Queens" clues. Every frame from Henry's powerfully bizarre arrival to the last triumphant (and gloriously ambiguous) cell is a pleasure, a joy to watch.
At its conclusion all I could say was "this was the best movie I've ever seen." Upon reflection, I realize it probably isn't, but at that moment (and each ensuing viewing) I recapture that same, precise feeling. That's what I want in a movie and Henry delivered.
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