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Career > > 2012 > Jesus Henry Christ

Jesus Henry Christ

April 20, 2012 | Red Om Films | 90 minutes
Directed by: Dennis Lee | Written by: Dennis Lee | Cinematography: Daniel Moder | Editing: Joan Sobel | Costume Design: Debra Hanson | Production Design: Robert Pearson | Music: Simon Taufique, David Torn
10-year-old Henry James Herman (Jason Spevack) lives with his left-wing single mother Patricia (Toni Collette). A misfit from birth, Henry's precocious, rabble-rousing ways catch up with him when he gets kicked out of school. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Audrey (Samantha Weinstein) has her own problems because of her single father (Michael Sheen), who used her as the test subject for his best-selling book "Born Gay or Made that Way"? When Henry scores a scholarship to the university as a child prodigy, the two families cross paths and everything they knew about their lives is thrown to the wind.
Cast: Michael Sheen (Dr. Slavkin O'Hara), Toni Collette (Patricia Herman), Jason Spevack (Henry James Herman), Samantha Weinstein (Audrey O'Hara), Frank Moore (Stan Herman), Aaron Abrams (Tanner Stewart), Melyssa Ade (Kindergarten Teacher), Dewshane Williams (Malcolm), Paul Braunstein (Dr. Gunther Flowers)

Production Notes

Based on Dennis Lee’s award-winning 2003 short by the same name, the feature length “Jesus Henry Christ” premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival to much public interest, due to its famous executive producer, Julia Roberts. The Tribeca summary wrote that, “Lee gives all characters their fair share of snappy dialogue and off-the-wall moments of hilarity, spiking the film with playful charm and visual flair. Collette and Sheen effortlessly flex their comedic muscles with bright newcomers Spevack and Weinstein in this whimsical tale”. However, the film received mixed reviews and had trouble finding a distributor for a theatrical release. It received a limited theatrical US release in April 2012, two years after completion. The New York Times wrote in its review, “As Jesus Henry Christ jumps from topic to topic, never settling on a theme, your instinct is to give it the benefit of the doubt and read into it whatever meaning you choose. That’s not an easy task, given that its flightiness is contradicted by a formal pictorial style that suggests that there is a meaning. Whatever it intends, Jesus Henry Christ is not especially funny. There are witticisms galore in both the thematically recurrent imagery and the dialogue, but very few qualify as jokes, and any laughter is hard to come by. Willfully zany would be a more apt description.”

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