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Henry Poole is Here in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Henry Poole is Here

THE STARS:
Luke Wilson • Adriana Barraza • Radha Mitchell • George Lopez
DIRECTOR: Mark Pellington

Luke Wilson THE CONCEPT:
Henry Poole’s (Wilson) life is turned upside down when he moves back to the neighborhood where he grew up to retreat from the world. But his solitude is disrupted when his well-meaning neighbor Esperanza (Barraza) notices a stain on Henry’s stucco wall that resembles Jesus, and she begins leading pilgrimages to the ‘holy site.’

U.S. RELEASE: August 15 2008, Limited • Rated: PG

THE COMMENTS:

MARK PELLINGTON:
Mark Pellington“My wife died from complications from a ruptured colon at Cedars [Hospital in 2004]. It was very sudden and preventable. [After awhile], as I began to reexamine and explore the films I had wanted to make or was attached to, I felt disconnected to many that seemed one dimensionally darker. I was less drawn to anything devoid of what I felt was a newly emerging sense of hope – a more balanced worldview of Humanity and some degree of positivism. This is not my story, it’s Albert [Torres’] script, but to be able to find a story where all the characters are dealing with loss, I felt comfortable in that world. It was very healing and cathartic.”

RADHA MITCHELL (Dawn Stupek):
Radha Mitchell“I liked the sincerity of the story. I actually was really impressed by Mark who wears his heart on his sleeve unabashedly. He wanted the actors to explore the vulnerability of their characters and just keep it very real, very simple and very naturalistic, and I liked that tone. I think there’s a thirst in culture for spiritual sustenance. I think the movie kind of feeds that without preaching anything.”

LUKE WILSON:
Luke Wilson“I felt connected to Henry. I liked the idea of playing a guy who had given up on everything, and just kind of wanted to fade away, moving into this house surrounded by two very strong women (Esperanza and Dawn). He can’t even go to a supermarket without getting engaged in conversation. I thought it was sweet and funny.”

GEORGE LOPEZ (Father Salazar):
George Lopez“When I met Mark his story of the loss of his wife and my story of my kidney disease and recovery from that, I think we talked very little about the movie and more about what life is, what faith is and what hope is. It’s a really cynical place that we live in, everything is immediate and everybody’s got blogs and opinions, and this was a movie that I thought the time was right. I think this movie was so important to all of us. Adriana Barraza is a breast cancer survivor, and I think there’s a reason why all of us are in this movie. We had a great connection as people, and then as actors.”

ADRIANA BARRAZA:
George Lopez“I believe in miracles, but not only in religious miracles; I believe that life is a miracle. I have survived two heart attacks, I’ve survived many losses in my life and I survived the loss of my faith, and I recovered my faith. Years ago, during a horrible moment in my life, I was so sad and depressed, and I was walking in an airport and a woman that I didn’t know walked in front of me and smiled at me, and in that moment I felt, ‘Oh my God, people smile,’ and I decided in that moment to look for a psychiatrist, and it changed my life. I believe in angels, and I think she was like an angel in my life.”

WILSON:
“The problem when I pray is that I always have to start, ‘I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about you.’ Can’t you be an atheist and be spiritual? Not that I’m an atheist at all [he looks up to heaven and smiles]

LOPEZ:
“When I found out I was working with Adriana, an Academy Award nominee [Babel], that was a little intimidating when your big thing was an HBO special [he laughs].

BARRAZA:
“The Oscars were a dream come true. It gave me the beautiful opportunity to be a child again, to wear a magnificent dress. When I lost the Golden Globe, Angelina Jolie asked me, ‘Can you come with me to the bathroom?’ And in the bathroom she asked me, ‘Are you sad because you lost the Golden Globe?’ And I said, ‘Yes,’ because everybody hopes to hold it in their hands. She told me, ‘You know, the most important thing is in fifteen years someone will see the movie and someone will cry and understand your character. This is the most important thing about movies.’ And I held her and said, ‘Thank you.’ It made me a better person.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #699, August 2008 cover

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