Henry's Crime in Our 'Hood
We have lots of big-screen stars in our midst, but, this time, it's a Tarrytown street that's getting its close-up.
The movie is Henry's Crime, starring Keanu Reeves and The Departed's Vera Farmiga. The film is about a man, Henry obviously, who is wrongfully imprisoned, then decides after his release to actually commit the crime he already went to jail for. In order to get access to the bank he plans to rob, Henry needs access to a tunnel below a theater, so he joins a production of The Cherry Orchard. Here's the trailer:
Hmmm, does that theater look familiar? It's the Tarrytown Music Hall, recast as the "Orpheum." You get a perfect shot of it at the 0:22-mark, which I've taken a screen-grab of because it goes by very quickly.
I think it looks great—the filmmakers kept the cool Art Deco vibe going with the marquee. The Music Hall's Facebook page notes that other scenes in the trailer were filmed at the Wachovia across the street. Spot any other local sites?
And personally, I really dig Keanu's fake Cherry Orchard beard. I think he should keep it.
Unfortunately, though, not everything about Henry's Crime is as amazing as the beard. For starters, the film itself doesn't take place in Tarrytown. No, this time, we're a stand-in for Buffalo, NY. Buffalo should only be so lucky!
Also, Henry's Crime screened at the Toronto International Film Festival—and it didn't receive any raves. Screen Daily called it a "laidback, low-key romantic caper [that] feels more like Big Deal On Madonna Street as re-written by Woody Allen, except Allen beat him to the punch with Small Time Crooks." Variety was even more critical when it said that, "While the absurdity builds, the intensity never does—a problem shared by director Malcolm Venville's previous feature, 44 Inch Chest. With a background in photography, rather than drama, the helmer chooses to operate within genre conventions while denying auds the thrills such pics usually provide." Its most positive review, from Reel Film Reviews, sticks in a bit at the end that says the film runs “into some trouble as it approaches its expectedly hackneyed conclusion—as the movie suffers from a stagnant atmosphere that's exacerbated by an emphasis on almost eye-rollingly stale elements.” Sheesh, with friends like those…
Still, I'm optimistic. It's possible that they just cut a good trailer, but I think Henry's Crime looks like a good mix of action and absurdity. (Then again, I really liked Small Time Crooks, so maybe it's just playing into my personal preferences.) Sometimes, when films mix genres in that way, literal-minded reviewers don't really know what to do with them. Sure, it may not be the most thrilling or original crime/heist/action film ever, but it sure looks like a heftier, less formulaic romantic comedy than last year's Leap Year or When in Rome. I'll still give it a chance.
Henry's Crime doesn't have a release date yet, but keep an eye out on its (bare-bones) Facebook page for more info.