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Handsome Harry offers more than enough of a satisfying actors' showcase for its impressively stocked cast to overcome a handful of storytelling struggles.
All Critics (26)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (21)
| Rotten (5)
... it's nice to see men even acknowledging the fact that they are no more impervious to the effects of time than women, and far preferable to watching actors seeming not to notice that their female costars are now young enough to be their granddaughters.
Handsome Harry is a small film with more to say than its creaky exposition and formulaic plot would suggest. Frustration is perhaps the more appropriate critical response.
Sheridan (who also produced) is well cast as the good-looking, rugged Harry, and his performance is certainly adequate.
Like any low-budget production, Handsome Harry has some shakily staged scenes and erratic acting, but it also has wonderful moments...
David has honed this script for 30 years, and every word he utters is momentous. Handsome Harry transcends its somewhat melodramatic narrative.
Each of its miserable characters, especially Mr. Savage's Rheems, is a case study in a film that hits you like a strident polemical essay.
Angst-ridden didactic guy's film about the fear of being gay if one doesn't act manly.
While Bette Gordon may be a filmmaker of daring and a painterly hand, the eternal truths of Handsome Harry are finally what hold us.
...works best as an actor's showcase...
Handsome Harry seems a bit obvious at times (and a little clunky at others) but the performances, particularly from Jamey Sheridan, will keep you watching.
I don't think Clint Eastwood would cast himself as a gay man, but it's easy to imagine an alternate movie universe in which Eastwood not only plays the title role but is the director of this earnest yet unstrident drama...
Even with its forced dialogue and dramatically artificial set pieces, "Handsome Harry" has a certain integrity--thanks primarily to Jamey Sheridan's committed performance--that keeps you involved.
An interesting story. Acting is good, but the storyline isn't the most exciting. Decent, but seems to drag on, and on. Heavy-hearted ending.
Well into middle age, Harry Sweeney(Jamey Sheridan) is doing well for himself in his business as an electrician and has no plans to retire soon. Thomas Kelley(Steve Buscemi), an old pal from the navy who he has not talked to in 30 years, is not quite so lucky, as he lies dying in a hospital bed. Before he goes, he wants to apologize to a former crewmate, Kagan, of theirs who along with three others they brutally beat. But Kelley dies before he can locate him, leaving the task to Harry with a little help from Kelley's daughter(Emily Donahue) who provides him with her research. First stop, Peter Rheems(John Savage), another former crewmate.
"Handsome Harry" is a low-key and meditative movie that is helped by a relaxed lead performance from Jamey Sheridan, along with a very good supporting cast that also includes Aidan Quinn, Campbell Scott and Titus Welliver. All of which is in the service of a story that seeks to explore the nature of forgiveness from an occasionally religious angle.(Harry confesses he wanted to be a priest at one point.) In short, are there some acts that cannot be forgiven? In any case, can we forgive ourselves or does guilt take over at some point? At one time, macho attitudes would not have allowed men to ask these questions of themselves but times are changing. So what may once have been impossible is now possible.
Interesting low key drama of a man in middle age forced to confront a shameful error in his distant past and try to make amends if possible. While it doesn't totally succeed and it's focus is sometimes off kilter the film still manages to entertain. Part of the reason why lies in the fact that for a small indie this has quite an impressive cast of higher profile quality actors, albeit that most appear briefly, than is usual in this type of film.
Cast: Jamey Sheridan, Steve Buscemi, Mariann Mayberry, Aidan Quinn, John Savage, Campbell Scott, Titus Welliver, Karen Young, Bill Sage, Asher Grodman
Director: Bette Gordon
Summary: For many years, small-town resident Harry Sweeney (Jamey Sheridan) has avoided confronting painful memories from his past. But when his best friend becomes seriously ill, Harry builds up enough courage to explore long-hidden secrets and uncover his true identity.
My Thoughts: "This is a slow burning film where the story unravels throughout the entirety of the film. The story is a bitter-sweet tale, some of it being of forbidden love and heart break, and the other of forgiveness for a horrendous act of violence. The ending is a quiet but heavy. Jamey Sheridan does great in this film. Definitely worth the watch."
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