The Book of Henry (2017)
With the popularity of the film Wonder (2017) and Room (2015), it seems like Jacob Tremblay is starting to pop up all over the place. However, this time around in The Book of Henry, Tremblay is not the main young actor in the film. It is Jaeden Lieberher in the starring role. Lieberher got a lot more recognition in his boost to fame part in the movie It (2017). Excluding the kids from the renowned Netflix Original TV Series, Stranger Things (2016), Tremblay and Lieberher are probably the most popular child actors right now. With Naomi Watts playing their mother in The Book of Henry, this movie looked entertaining.
The Book of Henry is about a genius 11-year-old boy who works together with his mother to try to stop the child abuse of their next door neighbor girl.
The movie was directed by Colin Trevorrow and the noteworthy cast includes Jaeden Lieberher, Naomi Watts, Jacob Tremblay, Dean Norris, Sarah Silverman, Lee Pace, Maddie Ziegler, Bobby Moynihan, Geraldine Hughes, Joel Marsh Garland, and Wass Stevens.
After you get past the fact that the premise of this movie is super farfetched, it is enjoyable enough. The story is all too convenient, but yet tastefully done. Many complications in the storyline were solved all too easily and in a very formulaic fashion.
I fault the writing for everything that is wrong with The Book of Henry. The filmmaking was good enough overall, but the story was just really lacking.
For their age, the young actors in this film are superb. Lieberher is the standout in the movie. I definitely expect to see these to young actors continuing to have successful careers.
I usually really like Watts as an actress, but did not care for her much in this film. I am not sure if it was because I did not like her or her character. She was dumbed-down so much for this movie that it almost seemed like she was miscast.
The irresponsibility and stupidity of Watt’s character is not believable when you see just how much of a mastermind her oldest son is supposed to be. He is so beyond crazy smart at 11 years old that it seems impossible to fathom. Get past that and The Book of Henry is average. It is a drama with some unexpected twists and turns. Some ideas about the story really worked, while others just did not.
I rate this movie a 5.5 on a scale of 1-10.
If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:
Stand By Me (1986)
St. Vincent (2014)
Stranger Things (2016)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
The Goonies (1985)
The Impossible (2012)
The Impossible left me breathless multiple times.
The movie is based on a true story about what happened to one family in 2004 who were vacationing in Thailand when the hotel that they were staying at gets hit with a tsunami.
The way that the disastrous tsunami is depicted in the film is absolutely incredible. The movie seems so real that it could be mistaken for actual footage. The chaos portrayed in the film is a work of art all by itself. Not only does the natural disaster seem so genuine, but I was left wondering how anybody could possibly try to make a film like this one and succeed.
The film brings with it a wave of emotions. You can almost feel the grief, loss, and pain that the characters on screen are feeling. As they fight to try to survive, you are right there with them hoping that they can make it and willing them to keep trying and don’t give up. You wish that you could reach into the movie and help, but you can’t so you are helplessly stuck just watching and waiting for the story to unwind.
It is one of those movies that are hard to watch and makes you cringe, but you are compelled to keep watching because you must know what happens next. You get entangled in this mess of a story and you fight to keep watching.
Sergio G. Sanchez wrote the screenplay and Maria Belon wrote the story. The cast includes Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast, Marta Etura, Sonke Mohring, Geraldine Chaplin, and Ploy Jindachote.
Naomi Watts did an amazing job. Her part stood out above everyone else. She didn’t become her character. She was her character.
This film would have been spectacular in the theatre on the big screen, but it was still pretty great on DVD.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.