Saturday, August 16, 2008

Henry Poole is Here

Luke Wilson finally uses his low-key blandness to his advantage. As Henry Poole, he finally shows us that he can act- though it is still his hang dog, mumbling, woe is me facade. Everyone else in this capable cast shows their acting chops. Henry has been given a terminal diagnosis, and he moves back to his childhood neighborhood to die in a really ugly tract house- the kind southern California has in spades. His perky realtor has the house restuccoed and painted before he moves in (as IF a realtor would do that!) and when a water stain appears to be the vague image of Jesus complete with blood tears, his neighbor struggles against Henry to make it a shrine. Now the film becomes a story of faith, and the power of faith, and it becomes almost a parable. Make no mistake, this is a story of belief and redemption- definitely. What could have been a sappy, silly, saccharin story becomes a sweet tale of how humans can create what they need and believe in it and not question it. I guess that is just called faith. Everyone in this film has expressive eyes- and if the eyes are the window to the soul, then, this movie is filled with it.