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Jesus Henry Christ 2011 PG-13

3.7 out of 5 stars (31) IMDb 6.4/10

This colorful, modern comedy revolves around 10-year-old boy genius Henry James Herman (Jason Spevack) and his fervently left-wing single mother Patricia (Toni Collette), who works at the local university's cafeteria. A misfit from birth, Henry's precocious, rabble-rousing ways catch up with him when he gets kicked out of school for writing "Manifestos on the Nature of Truth."

Starring:
Toni Collette, Michael Sheen
Runtime:
1 hour, 34 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Comedy
Director Dennis Lee
Starring Toni Collette, Michael Sheen
Supporting actors Jason Spevack, Hannah Brigden, Frank Moore, Sarah Orenstein, Jamie Johnston, Mark MacDonald, Mickey MacDonald, Cameron Kennedy, Lucca Tilbenny-Agate, Peggi Tilbenny, Kevin Hare, Jack Newman, Jack Jessop, Gino Marrocco, Sam Moses, Rosalba Martinni, Melyssa Ade, Devan Cohen
Studio Entertainment One
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"The truth is, Henry, you are a miracle of modern medicine." After ten year old Henry (Spevack) is suspended from kindergarten he has a talk with his grandfather. When he is told that his grandfather has located his half-sister Henry finally thinks he has a chance to find his father. This movie started off very funny and almost held it the whole way. The humor is pretty dark at times and you laugh at things you don't feel like you should. The kid that plays Henry is very good in this and so is the girl that plays his sister. I really like these kind of movies about dysfunctional families for some reason. Michael Sheen's character is especially funny and I hope he plays more roles like this. There isn't really anything new or amazing to this one but it is very entertaining and funny almost the whole way through. I recommend this. Overall, not really anything original but the actors make this very much worth seeing. I liked it. I give it a B+.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie was wonderful. I would not recommend it for family night, but it is a great independent film that has a great plot twist within the story line. The, mostly unknown, cast was remarkable and did an amazing job. They make you feel their pain, hurt, intuition, guilt and anxiety for their situation. This movie was well received by both my, very manly, boyfriend and myself. I highly recommend this movie!!!
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Format: DVD
I think that it's become my mantra: "quirk is the curse of independent cinema." In an effort to be cutesy and/or clever, films have been systematically stripping away genuine warmth and humor by presenting over-the-top character types and sitcom contrivances instead of mining what is really funny in our everyday foibles. It becomes a fine balancing act, then, because a good quirky film can be both hysterical and touch your heartstrings. However, one that pushes too far can be painfully unreal and hard to sit through. And, in my opinion, there is very little middle ground. Filmmaker Dennis Lee includes a lot of big ideas and some major ambitions in the dark comedy "Jesus Henry Christ," but the chaotic result is too enamored of its own eccentricity. None of the characters feel remotely real and the situations are absolutely preposterous, but Lee wants us to care about a deeper meaning underneath it all. And the movie never made me care. More importantly, though, the outrageousness is never particularly funny.

The film benefits tremendously by casting Toni Collette and Michael Sheen in principle roles. Both of these terrific actors try valiantly and perform to the rafters with big overblown performances. The central story revolves around a 10 year old wunderkind, Henry. Curious about his parentage, he uncovers some surprising details about his birth. His activist mother (Collette) has a secret, and as Henry pushes toward the truth--they come into contact with Sheen and his daughter. Without giving away too many details, these four create a strange nuclear family with each cast member trying to out-wacky the others. None of it is, in the least, believable which would have been forgivable had I had more fun.
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Format: DVD
Director Dennis Lee tackles a lot in this project, and he may have bitten off more than he can chew, but I still enjoyed the heck out this quirky romp.

Here's the scoop. Henry Herman is a genius ten year old, with an eidetic memory, who lives with his mom in Chicago. He finds out through his grand dad that he was a test tube baby. He now sets out to find pops and the adventure leads him to people and places unexpected. The possible candidate as dad is a professor (at the university which Henry is now enrolled) and a sister (maybe half sister) who is twelve years old and screwed up because pops wrote a book about her being lesbian. It's a long, thoughtful and unexpected journey.

Okay. Toni Collette plays the mom. I like her to begin with. I've liked everything I've seen her in. She's good as the radical mom who loves her son and has had a tragic past. She's lost, in one way or another, everyone in her family save for her dad. The camera plays off her face like a concert violinist plays a Stradivarius. Michael Sheen has also been good in everything I've seen him in and he doesn't disappoint here. He's bright but screwed up. He doesn't realize the harm he's done his daughter. He's disconnected. Grad dad is a hoot. A bit coarse perhaps, and almost totally useless at running a house and family, but he's real and comes through in the end. Jason Spevack is a hoot as Henry. He's too bright for his own good but uses his intelligence to work toward good. Then there's Samantha Weinstein as Audrey. With her pale face, almond eyes and straight carrot hair, you can't keep your eyes off her. She's an interesting character who starts hard and softens by the end.

The sets, shooting, editing are all as good as they had to be to get this done.
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Format: DVD
4.5 stars

This was a pleasant surprise in most every way. Fine acting by all, especially Spevack and Moore, a very sharp and mature script, and lots of interesting camera and lighting/color work make JHC its own little world. The rather slow pacing might bore some but I found it rather relaxing on the whole, especially when paired with the many dark laughs throughout. This is a film by and for sharp and unconventional minds who don't mind taking their time to think things over. That's kind of the point, in fact.

Writer/director Lee has a Wes Andersonish feel and that's a good thing, all in all, as he also has his own personality and sense of heart that we found very appealing.

The dvd is a nice transfer with 30 minutes of cast interviews that shed some light on the odder sides of the film, where you see why Spevack worked so well with the entire cast: the kid's a natural talent.

Not for everyone, particularly impatient folks quick to take offense, J. Henry Christ nonetheless holds many pleasures for those who don't mind it slow, weird and colorful. I think Lee has many more fine films in store for us, as does Spevack. And they made a special one here.
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