Reviewed at AFI screening room, L.A., Oct. 13, 1999. (In AFI/L.A. Film Festival — New Directions.) Running time: 81 MIN.
With: Moira Kelly, Jamie Harrold, Susan Blommaert, Eden Riegel, John Griesemer, Michael Kimbal.
Henry Hill” plays all the wrong notes in a ham-fisted portrayal of a disturbed young musician trying to recover after a half-hearted attempt to blow his brains out. The kind of character who in an earlier era would have been masterfully handled by Anthony Perkins, Henry is so poorly developed by helmer-writer David G. Kantar and murkily acted by Jamie Harrold that protag becomes an almost toxic presence at the center of this cloddish feature. World preem at AFI fest is a modest start for what is sure to be an undistinguished run on fest circuit.
Henry’s rash suicide attempt leads to a self-imposed exile to his Maine hometown. Henry feels his classical music career in New York is washed up, but it’s hardly clear what advantages he has in a place that stirs no end of bad memories, from meddling Mom (Susan J. Blommaert) to flashbacks of alcoholic Uncle Owen (Michael Kimbal). Stilted entry of Gotham-bound Cynthia (Moira Kelly) leads to a brief, unlikely romance but hardly explains Henry’s rebound onto the concert stage. Production credits are low-rent, marring effective use of music selections and woodsy locales.