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 Battle of the Sexes (2017)
Although I did not live during the time that this film is supposed to have taken place, I knew a little bit about the battle of the sexes. OK, all I really knew was that men and women played tennis against each other in the 1970s to prove which sex was better at sports. I did not know any specifics. I knew nothing.
The movie is a true story about how the best women’s tennis player, Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and former men’s tennis champion, Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) come to play an exhibition tennis match against each other for the battle of the sexes in 1973.
The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Andrea Riseborough, Bill Pullman, Natalie Morales, Sarah Silverman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue, Eric Christian Olsen, Fred Armisen, Jessica McNamee, Austin Stowell, Wallace Langham, Lewis Pullman (son of Bill Pullman), and James Mackay.
The movie was written by Simon Beaufoy and directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.
The Battle of the Sexes was very formulaic and predictable. However, it was a true story that I was truly unfamiliar with. An exhibition tennis match suddenly becomes a fight for equal pay and equal rights. It is a feel-good film about working to right a wrong in society. The movie is an exploration in sexism and surprisingly, sexuality.
This would have been a great time to experience in American History. To witness this symbolic tennis match (even just on TV), would’ve been witnessing an important time for women’s rights.
The movie does a good job showing just how slanted peoples’ views of men and women were back in the 1970s. Even though lots of people believe that we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to equals rights for all, this film is definitely a big reminder that we have come a long way.
Emma Stone and Steve Carell were superb pitted against each other (as they were together in Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011). The costume design in the movie was excellent. Stone and Carell looked very much like the people they were portraying. So much so, that it was a little scary. The 1970s was recreated very artistically down to every detail.
The movie had a nice recipe of goofy humor, and serious drama. Like many sports films, it was quite predictable. It is a formula that we have seen 100 times and it doesn’t get old. We still enjoy watching the underdog. It’s a David and Goliath story. Danielle and Goliath, if you will.
I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.
If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:
The Natural (1984)