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Overall Rating
4.41

Awesome70.37%
Worth A Look: 14.81%
Average: 7.41%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 7.41%

2 reviews, 15 user ratings


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Henry Fool
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by Chris Parry

"If you like 'thing go boom', move along. This is called 'writing'"
5 stars

The fact that Hal Hartley has to struggle for funds to shoot his films is something that Hollywood should be spanked over, repeatedly. The man is genius and Henry Fool, while not his best work, still beats the pants off 99% of what goes out there into consumer-land.

James Urbaniak is Simon Grim, garbageman, a tortured soul who everyone assumes is retarded. When gruff, drunken wanna-be poet Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan) stumbles into his life and hands over a pencil and noteboook, Simon discovers he can write.

But Simon doesn't just write. He writes from the soul. His poetry causes some people to react violently and some to react spiritually. He hits a chord with enough folks to have the world beating on his door, but can sociopath Henry do the same?

Aside from the poetry, Simon's family is a mess. His sister, Faye (Parker Posey going for drudgery over glamor for a change) is the town trampoline, his mother (Maria Porter) is house-bound and useless.

His neigbors aren't much better. Warren (Kevin Corrigan, once again proving he is a fine character actor) goes from beating Simon up daily to becoming a young republican and child molester. The local Priest (Nicholas Hope of Bad Boy Bubby fame) is disillusioned with the church and ina constant staet of depression.

Why is everyone so screwed up? Well, have you taken a look around outside lately?

But I digress. This story focusses on the manic nature of Henry Fool and is played wonderfully well by all in the cast. The script is typical Hartley and runs just the other side of well-paced, the scenery is grim, the cast underplayed and non-hammy.

If you missed this two and a half hour feast on the big screen, it might be tough to sit through on video. If you can still get it on the screen, go see it. Great movie.

Note to studio. If Hal Hartley comes knocking at your door with his hand out, slap a phat cheque in it and close the door quietly. There's a good lackey.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=36&reviewer=1
originally posted: 11/25/98 02:51:13
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User Comments

5/23/12 Fábio Devagar 3 stars
4/04/09 Derek K In my Top 5 of all time. I fucking love this epic masterpiece. 5 stars
1/09/09 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
6/11/08 PAUL SHORTT AN ECCENTRIC COMEDY OF LIBERATION THAT ENDS UP NOWHERE 1 stars
8/06/07 Dennis Duffy Great movie but was he running to or away from the plane? 5 stars
3/04/07 William Goss Revels in peculiarity. Moderately amusing, rarely engaging. 4 stars
11/17/04 ST. Geronimo :) I need subtitles for it - sometimes I can't catch the words 4 stars
2/17/02 Clarance holy shit... i can't believe i sat through this! 1 stars
11/05/00 Gray When a film this good isn't the best of his work, it says something about the director. 5 stars
8/21/99 Olivia Neutron-Bomb Hal is God. 5 stars
4/25/99 Chelsea, the mod pixie I was still thinking and feeling it days after I saw it. An amazing film, best of '98. 5 stars
1/23/99 Binky A little slow for me. A good film, but just not enough happening. 3 stars
1/19/99 Chronically hip For my money it's the best of Hartley's work. It's his opus. His epic. 4 stars
10/18/98 Kwyjibo Great movie that never got a chance at the cinema. Whats wrong with you people?! 5 stars
8/17/98 {{{OZ}}} It's Hartley. It's gonna rule. And it does. Weird. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-Jun-1998 (R)
  DVD: 01-Mar-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  19-Nov-1998


Directed by
  Hal Hartley

Written by
  Hal Hartley

Cast
  Thomas Jay Ryan
  James Urbaniak
  Parker Posey
  Maria Porter
  James Saito
  Kevin Corrigan



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