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He of little faith

"Henry Poole is Here" **1/2 (out of four): Sincere, relentlessly somber parable about a severely depressed man whose self-imposed suburban exile is upended by a familiarly-shaped stain on his wall.

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We don't learn much about Henry Poole in "Henry Poole is Here", director Mark Pellington's earnest but stubbornly somber parable of hope and hopelessness. Henry himself doesn't say much. And when he does it's usually in a barely audible whisper. What we do know is that Henry pays the asking price for an unassuming tract house in southern California without even the slightest bit of negotiation. He's also prone to say things like, "I won't be here long". It seems that Henry, subsisting on a diet of pizza, donuts and wine, is determined to curl up and die in his sparsely-furnished domicile. He might have done it too, if it weren't for those meddling suburban neighbors.

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