Sunday, October 26, 2008

Henry Fool

The little house in Queens depicted in Hal Hartley's 1998 masterpiece is a petri dish of frustrated possibilities. Garbage man Simon (James Urbaniak) is a closet poet; his sister Fay (Parker Posey) is a jaded heartbreaker; and their mother Mary (Maria Porter) is depressed. When the pseudo-intellectual Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan) arrives on the scene, he inspires Simon to write, beds Fay and makes waves so high they threaten to engulf everyone.

This film was recommended to me from a fellow co worker who has a plethora of knowledge of weird, under the radar dramas from the 90's, which is a sweet outlet to have when you're a foreign film snob like myself. This is a real gem, with a distinct flavor that leaves an interesting taste in the wake of it's consumption. The acting really is sub par and not as natural as it could be, at the same time it's essential for the feel of the film and prevents it from being a pretentious piece of cinema. Essentially the unnatural depictions become a realistic charm as the characters grow on you and not only do you accept them for what they are, (eccentric) but learn to really understand they are less complicated, yet reassuringly unpredictable in their nature. However, emotionally I was not affected by this movie. It was just very good. Read the synopsis, watch the film and enjoy it.

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