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Henry Gamble's Birthday Party

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Henry Gamble's Birthday Party
Henry Gamble's Birthday Party.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byStephen Cone
Produced byStephen Cone
Bryan Hart
Laura Klein
Michael A. Leppen
Shane Simmons
Written byStephen Cone
StarringCole Doman
Pat Healy
Joe Keery
Elizabeth Laidlaw
Nina Ganet
Tyler Ross
Francis Guinan
Hanna Dworkin
Meg Thalken
Music byPage Campbell
Daniel Donahue
Heather McIntosh
CinematographyJason Chiu
Edited byStephen Cone (uncredited)
Distributed byWolfe Video[1]
Release date
  • May 7, 2015 (2015-05-07)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Henry Gamble's Birthday Party is a 2015 drama film written and directed by Stephen Cone.

Plot

Henry Gamble is a closeted teenager and active member of a church youth group. He and his friend Gabe masturbate together while discussing a girl who will be at his birthday party tomorrow before falling asleep. The next morning the boys join the rest of the Gamble family for breakfast, before Henry’s 17th birthday party begins.

The party guests arrive and the film cuts between various storylines going on amongst them. Most of the party guests are members of the same church congregate, with the exception of some of Henry's school friends. One of the guests brings wine. The adults are initially opposed to the wine, but by the end of the party most of them are either tipsy or drunk.

Bob Gamble is the patriarch of the family and head preacher of their church. Kat Gamble is the matriarch and also plays an active role in the church leadership. Their marriage is strained as Kat no longer has romantic feelings towards Bob. By the end of the film Kat tells Bob that she wants a break in the marriage, and that she intends on temporarily moving outside of their house. Kat encourages Bob to use their time apart to strengthen his relationship with Henry, and to accept their sons homosexuality.

Autumn, the elder Gamble child, is a freshman at a Christian college. She struggles with the loss of her virginity to her ex-boyfriend. Although it was a mutual decision to have sex, she feels a crisis of faith as a result of having sex before marriage. By the end of the film she has reconciled and gotten back together with her boyfriend.

Ricky is a party guest and member of the church congregate. He wishes to resume his duties as a camp chaperone for the churches annual summer camp, but church leadership is uncomfortable with this due to an incident from the previous year. Ricky was showering with some of the teenagers and they noticed he had an erection, prompting the kids to complain to the church. Noticing that many of the party goers feel uncomfortable around him, Ricky goes to the bathroom and has a nervous breakdown. He then takes a razor and severely lacerates his face, prompting his mother and various party guests to take him to the hospital.

Party guest Logan has unreciprocated romantic feelings for Henry. Throughout the party Henry is cold towards Logan, but by the end of the film Henry asks Logan to spend the night with him. Henry and Logan lay in bed together, and Henry apologizes for his behavior. Henry then asks Logan if he wants to kiss, to which Logan says yes.

Cast

  • Cole Doman as Henry Gamble
  • Pat Healy as Bob Gamble
  • Elizabeth Laidlaw as Kat Gamble
  • Nina Ganet as Autumn Gamble
  • Tyler Ross as Aaron
  • Francis Guinan as Larry Montgomery
  • Hanna Dworkin as Bonnie Montgomery
  • Darci Nalepa as Grace Montgomery
  • Patrick Andrews as Ricky Matthews
  • Meg Thalken as Rose Matthews
  • Kelly O'Sullivan as Candice Noble
  • Travis Knight as Keith Noble
  • Daniel Kyri as Logan
  • Joe Keery as Gabe
  • Mia Hulen as Emily
  • Jack Ball as Jon
  • Melanie Neilan as Christine
  • Grace Melon as Heather
  • Spencer Curnutt as Cooper
  • Zoe Tyson as Cheyenne

Production

The film had a principal production schedule of 18 days.[2]

Release

The film was premiered on May 7, 2015 at the Maryland Film Festival.[3] The film later premiered in New York City at the BAMcinemaFest on June 25, 2015.[4][5]

Home media

On September 8, 2015, it was reported that Wolfe Video had acquired the rights to Henry Gamble's Birthday Party with plans to distribute the film on VOD and DVD in early 2016.[1]

Reception

Critical response

Henry Gamble's Birthday Party received a generally positive response from critics. As of June 2020, the film holds an 83% approval rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on twelve reviews with an average rating of 6.62/10.[6] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 59 out of 100, based on 4 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[7]

Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter described the film as a "somewhat less successful" work than Cone's similarly themed 2011 film The Wise Kids, but nevertheless lauded, "The film works best in its quieter moments, especially in its touching climactic scene in which Henry, sensitively portrayed by Doman in his film debut, finally allows himself to act on his suppressed impulses. It adds a welcome hopeful note to the preceding turmoil, reminding us yet again that the heart inevitably wants what it wants."[8] Carson Kohler of Vox also praised the film, writing, "There are so many substantial issues that this birthday party illuminates. Sexuality. The church. Sexuality and the church. And that's one line of the issues."[9] Joe Ehrman-Dupre of Indiewire praised the film as "miraculous" and wrote:

It's very difficult for me to hate people," Stephen Cone tells me, and I believe him. If he were a vengeful writer, or an angry director—if he didn't care so damn much about each and every one of his characters—this "Birthday Party" would quickly devolve into stereotypical zealot madness. As it stands, though, Henry Gamble has surrounded himself with complex, difficult, frustrated people. Essentially, people with stories, just like you and me.[10]

Ben Kenigsberg The New York Times gave the film a more mixed review, however, describing Cone as "not a sophisticated writer" and remarking, "Henry Gamble's Birthday Party feels sincere but not accomplished, empathetic but not deep."[11]

Accolades

The film was awarded the SHOUT Jury Award and the Audience Narrative Award at the 2015 Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.[1][12]

References

  1. ^ a b c Sharf, Zack (September 8, 2015). "Exclusive: Wolfe Releasing Acquires Gay Coming-Of-Age Drama 'Henry Gamble's Birthday Party'". Indiewire. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  2. ^ Radish, Christina (August 22, 2014). "Tyler Ross Talks THE KILLING Season 4, Moving to Netflix, Where His Character Ends Up, HENRY GAMBLE'S BIRTHDAY PARTY, and More". Collider. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  3. ^ Newman, Nick (May 1, 2015). "Pat Healy and More Celebrate In First Images from Stephen Cone's 'Henry Gamble's Birthday Party'". The Film Stage. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  4. ^ Weston, Hillary (June 25, 2015). "Director Stephen Cone & Actor Cole Doman on Their New Queer Coming of Age Film 'Henry Gamble's Birthday Party'". BlackBook Magazine. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Feinstein, Howard (June 16, 2015). "Chronicle of a Dream Foretold: BAMcinemaFest 2015". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  6. ^ "Henry Gamble's Birthday Party". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  7. ^ "Henry Gamble's Birthday Party reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  8. ^ Scheck, Frank (July 7, 2015). "'Henry Gamble's Birthday Party': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  9. ^ Kohler, Carson (June 12, 2015). "Homebrewed Movie & Beer: Henry Gamble's Birthday Party". Vox. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  10. ^ Ehrman-Dupre, Joe (June 19, 2015). "'A Lot Of Stories:' Christianity and the Queer Human Condition At 'Henry Gamble's Birthday Party'". Indiewire. Archived from the original on July 4, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  11. ^ Kenigsberg, Ben (January 7, 2016). "Review: In 'Henry Gamble's Birthday Party,' Sexual Repression (and Clothes) Start to Fall Away". The New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  12. ^ Carlton, Bob (August 30, 2015). "Sidewalk Film Festival 2015 announces winners; here's the list". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved September 10, 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 7 October 2020, at 10:55
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