Film Review: Truth is a Guest at ‘Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – There always seems to be a moment or event in our lives where everything happens. Writer/director Stephen Cone places that context into a celebration, that reveals necessary truths to its participants. It’s going to be a enlightening time at “Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party.” Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

The strength of the film is that it mixes a Christian outlook – Henry is the son of a evangelical pastor – with the human elements surrounding the air of religiosity. Everyone, it seems, is faced with a transition at this party, and follows through cosmically and with an evolving determination. Cone has a delicate touch with his own material, and his filmmaking technique is original and self assured. This work is a fabulous example of great independent filmmaking, using poised actors, tight storytelling and authentic emotion. Accept the invitation to this party, and make sure you RSVP.

Henry Gamble (Cole Doman) begins his birthday in bed, with his best friend Aaron (Tyler Ross). There is something particular about the way they start their day, but the pool party is set, and the friends are coming. Henry’s parents are Pastor Bob (Pat Healy) – the minister of an evangelical Christian church – and his wife Kat (Elizabeth Laidlaw). Also Henry’s sister Autumn (Nina Ganet) is home from college to help celebrate.

The party is on, but everybody seems to be in the midst of a crisis. Henry is the center of attention, and it is revealed that he struggles with his sexual orientation. His parents Bob and Kat are acting strangely too, and sister Autumn seems to be drifting from her Christian roots. It all comes down to confronting the next phase of all their lives, which includes Henry’s attention toward Logan (Daniel Kyri).

“Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party” continues its limited release in Chicago – at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 North State Street – through March 3rd, 2016. Click here for details. Featuring Cole Doman, Pat Healy, Elizabeth Laidlaw, Nina Ganet, Daniel Kyri and Tyler Ross. Written and directed by Stephen Cone. Not Rated.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party”

Cole Doman
Happy Birthday Sweet 17: Cole Doman in ‘Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party’
Photo credit: Wolfe Releasing

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party”

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