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Fay Grim

  R Closed Captioning

Hal Hartley

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About the Movie

A single mother from Queens becomes unwittingly embroiled in international espionage in director Hal Hartley's sequel to the critically acclaimed Henry Fool. Fay Grim (Parker Posey) is determined to raise her 14-year-old son, Ned (Liam Aiken), so he won't be like his father, Henry (Thomas Jay Ryan), who disappeared seven years ago after accidentally murdering a vicious neighbor. As Fay's brother, Simon (James Urbaniak), serves time in a prison cell for aiding Henry in his daring escape, he gradually begins to suspect that the man who inspired him to take up writing in the first place is not the louse he appeared to be, but instead the keeper of some potentially explosive government secrets that, if made public, could prove quite dangerous. As Simon begins to explore the possibility that Henry's autobiography, "Confessions," contains coded references to a wide variety of international atrocities committed by governments around the world, the CIA contacts Fay to inform her that her husband was killed in a hotel fire in Sweden shortly after fleeing America, and that the French government is currently in possession of two notebooks containing drafts of "Confessions." Convinced that the notebooks contain information that could endanger the security of the United States, CIA agent Fulbright (Jeff Goldblum) convinces Fay to travel to Paris and retrieve Henry's property before the information falls into the wrong hands. Now trapped in the middle of a cross-continental con and thrust deep into the world of international espionage, Fay is about to find out that her ex-husband is not only still alive, but in more trouble than he could ever imagine.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 90
  • Fresh: 41
  • Rotten: 49
  • Average Rating: 5.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Despite its imperfections, Fay Grim is worth seeing for Posey's and Goldblum's performances and particularly for the witty, literate dialogue. – Claudia Puig, USA Today, Sep 1, 2007

Fresh: This film feels like Hartley has been handed a Bourne or a Bond movie to direct and maintained his own style and low-budget aesthetic while thoroughly enjoying and deconstructing his new toy. – Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times, Sep 20, 2007

Rotten: Fay Grim is like watching stoners playing Risk and Clue at the same time. – Kyle Smith, New York Post, Jul 16, 2008

Rotten: The involved backstory and Hartley's own generic music both prove burdensome; the main attraction is the cast's amusing way of handling Hartley's mannerist dialogue and conceits. – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Great Movie!

"Fay Grim" was surprisingly entertaining.  It's a smart, unpredictable story with great acting, filming and editing.  It isn't a thriller by any means.  I'd buy it if it were available on iTunes. I just found out that Fay Grim is the sequel to "Henry Fool", which currently isn't available on iTunes.


One of the few movies I've watched where I just shut it off after about 30 minutes.

Couldn't watch the whole movie!!

The title says it all: I just could not stand watching the whole movie. I tried to watch it, really, forced to the limit in order to see if it got any better, but unfortunately the movie is so slow that I had to quit watching before the middle. :-(

Fay Grim
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Customer Ratings