Jamey Sheridan is excellent as guilt-ridden Handsome Harry.
HANDSOME HARRY (Bette Gordon). 96 minutes. Opens Friday (October 29). For venues, trailers and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
HANDSOME HARRY (Bette Gordon). 96 minutes. Opens Friday (October 29). For venues, trailers and times, see Movies.
This well-cast drama about an urgent contemporary crisis - gay-bashing and harassment - plays out as a road movie in which Harry (Jamey Sheridan), a man haunted by an event that happened three decades years before, tries to find his soul.
When his old Navy buddy (Steve Buscemi) makes a deathbed request - "Tell Kagan I'm sorry" for the 30-year-old episode - Harry hits the road to meet his commitment.
Along the way he makes sure to find his other Navy pals - a twitchily intense John Savage as a homophobic real estate agent, peacenik prof Aidan Quinn and born-again Titus Welliver - all of whom played a part in what turns out to have been a brutal beating of a fellow recruit.
They've all been affected by the event, but Harry's the most haunted. Though everyone calls him Handsome Harry, he's living on his own 12 years after a divorce and has a hard time connecting to people.
Sheridan is excellent as the guilt-ridden man with a secret and, though the structure is formulaic to a fault, director Bette Gordon elicits terrific performances in this very tender and timely film.SUSAN G. COLE