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Fay Grim is a 2006 Espionage thriller drama film written and directed by Hal Hartley. The film is a sequel to Hartley's 1997 film Henry Fool, and revolves around the title character, played by Parker Posey, the sister of Simon Grim (James Urbaniak). The plot revolves around Fay's attempt to unravel an increasingly violent mystery in Europe.[1][2][3]

Fay Grim
Fay grim.jpg
Promotional one-sheet
Directed byHal Hartley
Produced byHal Hartley
Jason Kilot
Joana Vicente
Written byHal Hartley
StarringParker Posey
James Urbaniak
Liam Aiken
Jeff Goldblum
Music byHal Hartley
CinematographySarah Cawley
Edited byHal Hartley
Distributed byMagnolia Pictures
Release date
  • September 11, 2006 (2006-09-11) (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • May 18, 2007 (2007-05-18) (United States)
Running time
118 minutes
CountryUnited States

The film was shot almost entirely in Dutch angles, meaning the vast majority of shots are framed diagonally, or "tilted". At the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, Hartley revealed that the two shots in the film's final cut that are not "Dutched" occurred when he and the film crew forgot to tilt the camera.



Seven years after the events of Henry Fool, Fay Grim (Parker Posey) is coerced by a CIA agent (Jeff Goldblum) to try to locate 'the confession novel' notebooks that belonged to her fugitive husband (Thomas Jay Ryan) whom he believes to be deceased. Fay is launched into a world of espionage as she travels to Paris to retrieve some of the journals, each having mysteriously appeared in the hands of the most unlikely of people. Simon Grim, Fay's brother and Nobel Prize–winning poet because of Henry, remains home with his sister's son, the CIA and his publisher.

Even in death it seems Henry is a force of nature causing life changing ructions in the lives of those he has touched. Fay is surrounded by competing agents all vying for her help in retrieving notebooks as she and Simon start getting clues to what the unpublishable nonsense of The Confession is really all about and why the CIA believe they contain information that could compromise U.S. security. A former air-hostess befriends Fay and reveals she was similarly touched by Henry 's chaotic influence and aid her in her efforts.

Fay's whirlwind culminates in a tense meeting with a notorious terrorist and friend of Henry where she has to make the biggest decision of her life.



It premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released in theaters across America on May 18, 2007, with a DVD release the following Tuesday, May 22, in conjunction with Magnolia Pictures' "day-and-date" release strategy.


Critical receptionEdit

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 46% based on 90 reviews, and an average rating of 5.4/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Fay Grim is too concerned with its own farcical premise to present a coherent, involving story."[4] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 52 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[5]


The film won the "Audience Choice Award" at the RiverRun International Film Festival in 2007.


  1. ^ The New York Times
  2. ^ LA Weekly
  3. ^ The Village Voice
  4. ^ "Fay Grim (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  5. ^ "Fay Grim Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 19, 2018.

External linksEdit