The Quirks of Life
To many Henry Poole (Luke Wilson) is strange; he buys an old property which is run down and doesn't want it fixed up, he eats pizza, donuts and drinks beer when he is not sunbathing with out sun block on. But then Henry has a secret, he has been diagnosed with a terminal disease and has planned to live out his remaining days in quiet in a part of town where no one knows him. The trouble is his neighbour Esperanza (Adriana Barraza) spots the face of Christ in a stain on a wall in his back yard and believes it has healing powers leading to a whole procession of people invading his property and life as they seek a miracle from this stain on his wall.
The most interesting thing about "Henry Poole Is Here" is sadly not the movie itself but seeking out the wide variety of opinions from others. You have some who praise this movies examination of faith, belief and embracing life whilst others condemn the movie with such hate that you would have thought this movie must have caused the death of a love one. And the reason why some hate this movie and others won't even give it a chance is because it deals with having faith, miracles, religion and the image of Christ in a stain.
So putting aside what everyone else thinks let me tell you about "Henry Poole Is Here" the tale of a man who has given up on life because he is dying and is wallowing in his own self pity wanting to be left alone to be pissed off at the world. But through this stain on the wall and the various people who force themselves into Henry's life and his stubborn refusal to leave his own wallowing in self pity is forced to take dramatic action and ... well I will leave that for you to discover. But along the way we see how Henry refuses to believe in anything and is exceedingly stubborn and rude to everyone, from Esperanza to the caring check out girl in the super market.
Now "Henry Poole Is Here" is a quirky movie full of quirky characters and it is a movie which wants to revel in being slightly off beat and in truth it does. For those who like me watch to be entertained will find the curious nature of all the characters a lot of fun. But watched purely because of its oddness admittedly makes it a shallow movie although one which through its characters is also quite charming.
As for the whole belief, faith, Christianity, embracing life side of the movie. Yes it is there, yes this movie has a message it wants to get across but is it offensive for doing so, not in the slightest and when you let go off any hangs up you might have over faith and religion it is a charming and quirky movie with a positive bent and there is nothing wrong with that.
What this all boils down to is that "Henry Poole Is Here" is a curious movie which isn't going to be for everyone. But look past what some might see as ulterior motives and what you end up with is a quirky, charming movie with a message.