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Robert John Burke,
Socially inept garbage man Simon is befriended by Henry Fool, a witty roguish, but talent-less 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I rented and watched "Henry Fool" last night and spent much of this evening tracking down reviews of this extraordinary film. I'm surprised that none of them invoked Dickens, or at least John Irving.
There's a constancy in Hartley films: beautiful photography, disciplined design, and (usually) extraordinarily attractive actors who mouth almost excruciatingly gassy dialogue in a deadpan style that seems to serve as ballast. "Henry Fool" is no different. But this film delves so deeply and sympathetically into the Big Issues -- love, obligation, and most of all ART -- that it delivers a wallop that reminds me of how I felt at the end of Irving's "Owen Meany". And I mean that as a high compliment.
"Henry Fool" is imperfect, at moments even ridiculous, but you just might be changed by it. Not bad for a movie.
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