Henry Fool

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Henry Fool
Henry fool.jpg
Promotional one-sheet
Directed by Hal Hartley
Produced by Larry Meistrich
Hal Hartley
Written by Hal Hartley
Starring Thomas Jay Ryan
James Urbaniak
Parker Posey
Liam Aiken
Music by Hal Hartley
Cinematography Michael Spiller
Editing by Steve Hamilton
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release dates
Running time 137 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1,338,335

Henry Fool is a 1997 American seriocomic film written, produced and directed by Hal Hartley, featuring Thomas Jay Ryan, James Urbaniak, and Parker Posey. As in The Unbelievable Truth, an earlier Hartley film, expectation and reality again conflict.

The film won the best screenplay award at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.[1] A sequel, titled Fay Grim, was released in 2007.

Plot[edit]

Socially inept garbage-man Simon Grim is befriended by Henry Fool, a witty rogue and untalented novelist. Henry opens the world of literature to Simon, and inspires him to write "the great American poem". Simon struggles to get his work recognized, and it is often dismissed as pornographic tat, but Henry continues to push and inspire Simon to get the poem published.

Henry carries around a bundle of notebooks that he refers to as "His Confession," a work that details aspects of his mysterious past that he one day hopes to publish, when he and the world is ready for them. Henry's hedonistic antics cause all manner of turns in the lives of Simon's family, not least of which is impregnating Fay Grim (Simon's sister).

As Simon begins an ascent to the dizzying heights of Nobel Prize-winning poet, Henry sinks to a life of drinking in low-life bars as his own attempts at fame result in rejection, even by Simon's publisher who once employed Henry. The friends part ways and lose touch, until Henry’s criminal past catches up with him and he needs Simon’s help with fleeing the country.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Based on 23 reviews collected by the film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 88% of critics gave Henry Fool a positive review, with an average rating of 7.4/10.[2] Leonard Maltin gives the film two and a half stars, saying Hartley "just misses the mark".[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Henry Fool". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  2. ^ "Henry Fool (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2009), p. 604. Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide. ISBN 1-101-10660-3. Signet Books. Accessed May 22, 2012

External links[edit]