Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

Henry Poole Is Here

Released

Latest Home Video

Jan 20, 2009

MPAA Rating:

PG


Run Time:

99

Cast

Luke Wilson

Radha Mitchell

Adriana Barraza

Morgan Lily.

Studio

2008 Overture Films

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: Henry Poole Is Here.

Read Review

Reviewed by

OverallA-
ViolenceB+
SexA-
LanguageC
Drugs/AlcoholC
Run Time99

Making the Grades

Henry Poole's (Luke Wilson) relocation to a quiet Los Angeles' suburb isn't just a move to escape the hassles of the inner city. ItÕs a way to escape life altogether. Dumping his belongings into a nondescript little bungalow with a neglected yard, Henry pulls the blinds on the outside world and subsists on a diet of liquor and donuts.

His privacy is intruded upon, however, when his next-door neighbor arrives on the doorstep with a plate of freshly made tamales. Esperanza (Adrianna Barraza) is the local busybody and in essence, the glue that binds this little patch of divergent neighbors together. Yet despite Henry's offish reception of her welcome, she isn't deterred from making regular, unsolicited forays into his backyard.

On one such intrusion, Henry finds the middle-aged Mexican woman staring at a water stain on the side of his house. Convinced that she can see the image of God in the stucco, she needles Henry into letting her bring over her priest (George Lopez) to substantiate her discovery. Longing to be left alone, Henry finally concedes to one visit.

But one visit leads to another and before long, settling into seclusion appears to be impossible for the troubled newcomer who also becomes acquainted with other residents on the street. Dawn (Radha Mitchell), a recently divorced woman, and her mute 6-year-old daughter Millie (Morgan Lily) also live next door. At the grocery store, the cashier (Rachel Seiferth) behind the counter makes attempts as well to draw out the despondent Henry by commenting on his frequent alcohol purchases. For a man who wants to fade into oblivion, Henry Poole (and his stucco) is the new main attraction on the street.

By mainstream standards, this low-budget drama breaks a lot of rules. Though portrayed as a nosy Hispanic neighbor, Esperanza is also full of compassion, forgiveness and sincere concern for those around her. Other characters including Dawn, Molly, the cashier and even Henry's real estate agent (Cheryl Hines) also play a role in pulling the despairing homeowner out of his funk. Though the religious theme may not appeal to everyone, the story goes well beyond the rituals and rites of organized worship and focuses on the basic beliefs that speak to a wide array of viewers. Even Los Angeles, a common synonym for gang violence and opulent excess, gets the every day treatment in this film.

While the script contains an abundance of profane (and religious) uses of terms of Deity and depictions of frequent drinking, even these portrayals change as Henry is forced to deal with the friendly overtures of his neighbors and the influx of the faithful filing into his backyard to see the likeness of Christ on the wall.

Putting personal belief differences aside, Henry Poole Is Here is a subtle reminder that hope in the future and faith to face each day, are options available to those who have eyes to see the goodness of the world around them.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Henry Poole Is Here.

How is religion portrayed in this movie in comparison with many other films? Why is religion or religious beliefs often shown in negative ways?

Does Henry ever fully believe in the image on his wall? Does the miracle still have an affect on him? What does he mean when he says that hope can’t save you?

What impact do the different characters in this film have on Henry? What role do they each play in helping him change?

Home Video Viewing Alternatives

Here are some ideas for home video titles that are related to Henry Poole Is Here.

 

In the movie Lilies of the Field, the motivations behind different characters’ religious zeal is slowly revealed as a Baptist carpenter helps build a chapel for a group of German nuns. Following his death, an amusement park employee feels his life had little value until he has the chance to converse with a group of individuals he unknowingly touched during his time on earth in Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
Not Rated
AB PG
MB Not Rated
ON PG Mature theme.
QC Not Rated
NB
NS
NL
PE
Not Rated

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Henry Poole Is Here...

Henry Poole Is Here —on DVD and Blu-ray. Both presentations come with an audio commentary by director Mark Pellington and writer Albert Torres, a making-of featurette, two music videos (Henry Poole Is Here - performed by Ron Irizarry and All Roads Lead Home), theatrical trailers, and text/photo galleries (including a letter from director Mark Pellington). Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital (English).

 

Add Your Comments

Commenting is restricted to members only.
Please log in below or, if you're not yet a member, please register.



Forgot password? | register

Please note: So we can maintain a website with content appropriate for all ages, we moderate all comments and will edit profanities, slanderous remarks and other inappropriate language. For these reasons, your comments will not appear immediately.

Michele says: Oct. 13, 2009

If you missed this film the first time around, I encourage you to check out the newly released family version. I absolutely loved this movie! It was such a great story about a real life guy who was struggling with his faith and accepting it. This is something that I’ve been struggling with myself for the past couple of years. It was such an encouragement to see this played out. And it’s really cool that I’ve found a site, http://www.henrypoolebelieves.com. Right now it looks like they are giving away 10 copies of the movie for free. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, or even if you have, you could always give it to a friend, but it’s definitely worth checking out! PERFECT film for a FAMILY movie night!

You May Be Interested...

Watch Newest Videos