Faith is a funny thing. What other aspect of one's life demands so much and yet typically yields such fleeting pragmatic rewards? Conviction is usually couched in terms of a higher power, but we also demand belief in ourselves and in our fellow man. In fact, what's clear about faith is that it penetrates far too many facets of our lives -- or, at least, that's what Mark Pellington wants us to see with his quirky character dramedy Henry Poole Is Here. While our hero is having a hard time facing the realities of his fleeting existence, his neighbors are more than willing to throw aside common sense for a glimpse of God's hand.
You see, Henry Poole (Luke Wilson) is dying. He has an unnamed disease which his doctor (Richard Benjamin) swears will "steamroll" through him. Hoping to reconnect with his past, Henry moves back to his home town. When he can't purchase his old house, he settles for a dilapidated number down the street. After he moves in, his nosy neighbor Esperanza (Adrianna Barraza) notices a watermark on his wall. To Henry, it's the sign of a bad stucco job. For her, it's the face of Christ. It's not long before the genial Father Salazar (George Lopez) arrives to conduct a Church-sponsored investigation. Even without confirmation, the smudge cures a little mute girl, much to her mother's (Radha Mitchell) amazement and helps a nearly blind girl named Patience (Rachel Seiferth) see. But the big questions remains: Will it help Henry? Or can anything?
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