"Henry Fool" Is Released

Henry Fool is a 1997 seriocomic film directed, written, and produced 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 Cannes Film Festival, where it was also nominated for the Golden Palm. A sequel, titled Fay Grim, was released in 2007.

Simon Grim (James Urbaniak) is a garbageman, and his life is about as unpleasant and uneventful as you'd expect given his profession; he doesn't much care for his work, he's treated with violence or contempt by most of the people in his neighborhood, and he shares a house with Mary (Maria Porter), his cranky, pill-head mother, and Fay (Parker Posey), his morally suggestible sister. One day, Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan) appears; he claims to be a writer in the midst of a major project, entitled "Confessions," and needs a place to stay. Henry ends up moving in with Simon and his family, where he wastes no time in bedding both Mary and Fay, and encourages Simon to write in a journal. Simon begins to write in long torrents of words that surprisingly fall together into iambic pentameter; Henry tells Simon that what he's writing is poetry, and he's truly gifted. Simon seems dubious at first, but when several of Simon's pieces are posted on the Internet, he developes a huge and rabid following and is acclaimed as one of the great authors of our time. Henry, however, isn't able to get anywhere with his own book or his own life; as Simon's star slowly rises, Henry's orbit slowly sinks past the horizon. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide