Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Stars Fell On Henrietta (1995)


    "You've got to hitch your wagon to a star, sweetheart." 
      ~Mr. Cox


   There is this remarkable phenomenon that sometimes happens when I go to the VHS section of the library. I'm really not to be trusted. I'll see the side of a case {the good thing about VHS cases are you can find them better than DVDs, since they're bigger}, I 'll think it looks interesting, pull it out, maybe see an actor I like, and promptly decide to take it home and watch it. It happens startlingly often. I know, my poor family.

   Well, that's exactly what happened with The Stars Fell on Henrietta. I'd never heard a word about this movie until I happened across it while mindlessly wandering about the VHS section at the library, saw Robert Duvall's name, saw AIDAN QUINN's name, read the synopsis, and thought, yup. This could be good.

    And what do you know? It was. In fact, it was better than I'd even expected.

   The Stars Fell on Henrietta is an extremely strange movie, but I loved it. It's one of those stories that makes you homesick for a time before you were even born. The characters are like people you might know. It's definitely a weirdie. But you know what? Very often, those are the best kind.


    It's the story of a man named Mr. Cox {Robert Duvall}, a self-proclaimed "oil man" who has tried his hand at the business for years but never had any success. When he comes to the little town of Henrietta, Texas, he is convinced there is oil there to be drilled. When he meets farmer Don Day {Aidan Quinn}, whose family are at the risk of losing their farm, he fills their heads with dreams of striking oil on their land and turns their lives around forever.


    Robert Duvall is officially my second-favorite actor. He's absolutely brilliant in this role, as always. Mr. Cox is dreamer, a go-getter, and crazier than a bedbug. He's a drifter, moving from place to place, trying to convince people to get on board with him in drilling for oil, even washing dishes in nasty Greek restaurants. He's charming, clever, and completely loony. In other words, classic Robert Duvall.
  And oh, I loved his cat Matilda! It's hilarious how he carries that cat around under his arm all the time. One of my favorite scenes was when Mr. Cox goes out into the field at night looking for where the oil is and swings Matilda around and around, finally flinging her up into the air. I want to do that with my cat. :-)


   As far as I'm concerned, Aidan Quinn has never been better than he is in this movie. I'm becoming an increasingly big fan fan of him in general. :-) Don Day is a dreamer, down on his luck like every other farmer during the Depression. After Mr. Cox tells him he knows there's oil in his land, Don decides to go for it. At first he has no luck, and things get worse before they get better. But Mr. Cox doesn't give up, and he pulls Don along with him until they finally reach their goal.


    Cora Day is played by Frances Fisher, who I'm not familiar with, but she's an amazing actress. Cora is at first against all the oil business, wanting her husband to play it safe. She's an interesting character, and for the most part I really liked her.
    The eldest daughter, Beatrice, was Lexi Randall! {From Sarah, Plain and Tall.} She was kind of a sullen character, but sweet. The younger daughter Pauline was adorable. It was Pauline who began the movie by narrating the story as an adult and concluding the story too, and I kind of felt like she should be a more prevalent character in the events because of that, but it was okay.
    Oh, And Robert Duvall talking to little children is about the sweetest thing ever. :-)

   Like I said, this is a very odd little movie, but real life is odd and so to me that makes a good story. It drew me in from the very beginning-- one of those movies where you've barely started it and already you've got that this-is-my-new-favorite-movie feeling. I've discovered I have a special affinity for stories about people in the 1930's trying to keep their homes and their land. This is a great movie, in my opinion, with a terrific cast {including Aidan Quinn :-)), and I'd definitely recommend it. And if that makes me loony too, well then, I guess that's alright with me.



4 comments:

  1. This looks interesting--Robert Duvall is absolutely amazing, so I should check it out.

    It has Lexi Randall in it? Even better.

    Yes, when Robert Duvall talks to children. It's so adorable--like when he's talking to "little number five," in Broken Trail <3

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  2. Arwen,
    It's really quirky, but
    SO good! I love it. :-)

    YOU'VE SEEN BROKEN TRAIL????!!!!

    :-D

    *high fives* That's one of my favorite Robert Duvall roles! And one of my favorite westerns, too. It's such a good story.

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    Replies
    1. Cool! I'll check it out:)

      YES. BROKEN TRAIL. Can we just take a moment to appreciate that movie's awesomeness. It's an interesting story, actually: I'd first learned that there was such a movie when I was searching for Robert Duvall movies (or was it Thomas Haden Church movies? I can't remember now), and then I saw the review on your blog, read it, and thought: hmm, this looks like it could be cool. Then I unexpectedly saw it at my cousins' house and thought, oh, that's that movie that blogger reviewed;) So I watched the first part (and forgot that it was a miniseries), and loved it, though I thought it had a lamentable ending;) Then, I went home and read your review again, realized that there was another part, and then--oh, it was history. It's now my favorite Western, so far :D

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  3. I like quirky little movies, so this one sounds fun! Plus all those actors are definitely amazing at what they do. But I do believe you had me at Aiden Quinn! ;)

    Also! I saw the pic with Lexi Randall and was trying to figure out where I knew her from. I love Sarah, Plain and Tall! So now I really want to see this movie!

    ReplyDelete

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