Henry Poole Is Here

Director: Mark Pellington
Screenwriters: Albert Torres

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival


For a man who seems to be living a perfect life—comfortable, engaged, full of opportunity—the discovery in a routine doctor’s checkup that all is not well prompts Henry Poole to flee. He finds himself alone in a new house and a new place, somewhere where perhaps he can try to escape the fate that he has been dealt. It’s a house in a working-class suburb with neighbors who welcome him, or at least try to; he finds them rather unattractive, frankly, but fine for his purposes. But life won’t let him alone. His neighbors’ intrusions, the discovery of a “miracle” on a backyard wall, and the attentions of a little girl with a tape recorder disrupt whatever hopes he had for hiding out.

Director Mark Pellington revisits Sundance (Going All the Way played at the 1997 Festival) with a very personal work about devastation and the need to find yourself. Inspired by Pellington's own loss, Henry Poole Is Here is a work that is soul searching in the best sense of the word. Poignant, yet acerbic and funny, it tells us about faith, the vagaries of life and death, and personal salvation. Powered by a resonant performance from the remarkable Luke Wilson, Henry Poole Is Here is full of small moments and meanings that make it a memorable film.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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