Tribeca Film Festival ’11: Jesus Henry Christ Review
Well, Jesus Henry Christ, another quirky comedy. It used to be that quirky comedies were bright spots in the indie landscape. I was really holding out hope for this one. From writer/director Dennis Lee comes Jesus Henry Christ, the story of a young boy, who has a video-graphic memory (basically he remembers everything), and his dysfunctional family. Yeah, yeah, yeah, its another one of those. Could be great though. After all, Toni Colette (Little Miss Sunshine) and Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon) are fantastic in their own right. But too often, the film borrows the style of other movies and is just trying too hard.
I’ll also say that this type of movie is right up my alley. I’m a big fan of quirky dysfunctional family-type movies. Perhaps that is why I was so bothered by this one. One scene in particular stands out in my mind. The family is in an elevator and they all have band-aids on their fingers. They are all standing, facing the camera and holding up their fingers showing their bright red band-aid. Really? The quirkyness is on overdrive at this point.
Also, the young boy, Henry, has a video-graphic memory and it’s only slightly alluded to that he is sometimes better off forgetting things. This seems like a pretty big deal and would have been very fascinating to explore. Instead, he’s constantly being called a “freak” for being smart. But he isn’t necessarily smart, he can just remember everything. He can also solve complex problems, so….whatever. Anyway, it’s something that only scratches the surface.
All of the characters, once again, are way too interesting for their own good. There are so many subplots that by the end you’re not sure where they all are going. I just didn’t find it to be very co-hesive or didn’t think it had it’s own voice.
There has been a lot of buzz about the film. Anytime I mention the festival, I’m always asked about this one. Maybe I was just expecting something different, but it really didn’t do much for me.
Rating: The performances are good, but overall, I’d wait and rent it. 3/10