Henry Poole Is Here

In this low-key indie drama, Luke Wilson gives a soft-spoken and internalised performance as a melancholy thirtysomething facing a bleak future.

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Director: Mark Pellington
Starring: Luke Wilson, Radha Mitchell, Adriana Barraza In this low-key indie drama, Luke Wilson gives a soft-spoken and internalised performance as a melancholy thirtysomething facing a bleak future. His Henry Poole moves back to the anonymous suburban California street where he was raised, and it soon transpires he has been diagnosed with a rare medical condition. He expects to die a lonely death within weeks. But he is soon disturbed by his busybody neighbour, played by Adriana Barraza. Another neighbour, a young divorcee played by Radha Mitchell, also takes an unusually keen interest in Poole after he befriends her troubled daughter. Inevitably, the healing power of love and friendship slowly transforms him. It feels slightly mean to scoff at a film that was for the director Mark Pellington a heartfelt affirmation of hope following the untimely death of his wife, but Henry Poole Is Here very quickly sinks into simple-minded sentimentality. Although Wilson, Mitchell and Barraza all give decent performances, they are let down by the film's predictable plot and intrusive indie-rock soundtrack. A capable cast trapped in a banal, trite, cloying film.