Henry’s book is important. But it doesn’t come into play until mid-movie. I really can’t tell you why. From there the film takes a bit of a different direction and I don’t want to spoil the story.
St. Vincent’s Jaeden Lieberher and Room’s Jacob Tremblay are brothers Henry and Peter living with their single mom Susan. She’s done by Naomi Watts. Henry is pushing 12 and is a genius whose education level seems more like someone who has doctorate than a normal sixth grader. His mom and little brother rely heavily on Henry for everything.
Henry is also in love with the girl next door who he thinks is being abused by her stepfather. The focus of the plot is the solution to her dilemma.
Lieberher is developing into a really terrific actor and plays Henry with a low-key, matter-of-fact zeal that actually makes you believe he’s someone with a stratospheric IQ. Also fun to watch is Watts and Lieberher. They have great chemistry and you totally buy they’re mother and son.
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Colin Trevorrow — best known for Jurassic World — directs. This is a much better film and is a character study that has more in common with his classic art house flick Safety Not Guaranteed. He’s a wonderful storyteller. Even better, he’s a patient storyteller who makes the most of Gregg Hurwitz’s marvelous script.
Oh, and if you’re sentimental, bring a hanky. On second thought make that two.
▪ Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8.
▪ Rating: 5 of 5
Movie name: The Book of Henry
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Stars: Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, Jacob Tremblay, Sarah Silverman, Dean Norris, Maddie Ziegler
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.