Yesterday afternoon, while visiting with my godson's family, we decided to take in a newly released film, "Henry Poole is Here." I had received an e-mail announcement from the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, watched the trailer, and showed it to my friends. They decided to go see it, and took me, my 13-year old godson, Jake, his 10-year old sister, Grace, and Anthony, Jake's gradeschool buddy.
The film is about a "sad and angry" middle-aged man, played by Luke Wilson, who buys a slightly run-down house in his childhood neighborhood. The perky real estate agent has the home re-stuccoed before he moves in, and when Esperanza, the next door neighbor brings fresh tamales over to welcome him to the neighborhood, she spies a water stain in the new stucco that looks just like "el rostro de Dios" - the face of God. Pious mayhem ensues, and the cynical Henry Poole is caught up in a web of relationships that pull him out of himself.
It's a great story that examines the nature of faith - and the lack of it - as well as the nature of miracles. No sex, one "holy s***" and a PG rating. The SF Examiner review summarizes it well, "Although the ending is unsurprising, Henry Poole remains an interesting character. He behaves reprehensibly at times, yet his difficulty with faith resonates. Perhaps salvation can be found on a cracked stucco wall in the middle of Southern California, perhaps not. But the film's point - that we will all keep looking - is well taken."
I'm off for a couple of weeks while traveling. Back in September.