The Boston Phoenix
Review from issue: September 7 - 14, 2000

[Boston Film Festival]

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Henry Hill

The title character of this pretentiously quirky melodrama is a talented violinist with an extreme case of stage fright. Having been chewed up by 10 years in the Big Apple, he's returned home to the country to seek refuge among his family. Henry's an odd sort, full of rage and resentment as he shouts at his mother, guzzles Scotch, and makes a few lame attempts at suicide. Things look pretty dead-ended until Cynthia (Moira Kelly), a feisty goth, rolls into town looking for lodging and a job. She's got a bitchin' ride and a hardened determination to make it to the big city. As a one-sided romance blossoms, Henry rekindles his musical aspirations and debates returning to the New York City of his failures, if only to be with the woman he longs for.

Jamie Harrold's Henry is a strange mix of a young Malcolm McDowell and Richard Thomas, both in appearance and in the way the script toggles his character's persona. His emotional turbulence never registers as heartfelt, except in flashbacks to mentoring times with his late, freaky Uncle Owen (Michael Kimbal). And David G. Kantar's arty, erratic direction skips over large portions of what fuels the characters, most notably musical and romantic passion. Screens tonight at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. and tomorrow at 12:45, 3, and 5:15 p.m. Director David G. Kantar will appear at tonight's 7:30 screening.

-- Tom Meek

Film Festival Feature Films

Shadow of the Vampire | Songcatcher | Venus Beauty Institute | What's Cooking? | The Broken Hearts Club | Envy | Goya in Bordeaux | Human Resources | Skipped Parts | Amargosa | Henry Hill | Relative Values | The Rising Place | The Contender | Pitch People | Roof to Roof | Four Dogs Playing Poker | Reckless Indifference | Requiem for a Dream | Shadow Magic | About Adam | Charming Billy | Enemies of Laughter | Into the Arms of Strangers | Running on the Sun | A Trial in Prague | Harry, He's Here to Help | A Man is Mostly Water | Seven Girlfriends

Also, Boston Film Festival short films

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