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Film Review: ‘The Book of Henry’ Generates a Different Story Vibe

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – There are some total exasperations in “The Book of Henry”… numerous ones that are almost deal breakers. But somehow, some way, the strange twists and ideas take over, and the film becomes fable-like, examining a different line of story elements that switch from one character to another. Director Colin Trevorrow (“Jurassic Park” reboot) reveals a love in what he is doing in this film, and that also counts for something.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The early part of the tale, the part with the title character in it, is the most exasperating part. The notion of a 12 year-old boy handling family finances and spouting philosophical existentialism to a bunch of public school six graders is too precious to sit through, and there are many squirms in the front end. At some point that character becomes more ethereal, and hovers over the proceedings like an avenging angel. That switch brings the Naomi Watts character to the front, and she handles the unlikeliness of the scenario with perfect aplomb. It’s not so much two different movies, but two different feelings about the movie.

Henry (Jaeden Lieberer) is a genius, but he prefers the term “precocious.” He is clearly above and beyond his classmates, and in his spare time plays the stock market so his single Mom Susan (Naomi Watts) won’t have to work – she’s a waitress who likes to play video games to relax. Henry’s brother Peter (Jacob Temblay of “Room”) is his soul mate, and they entertain each other with Henry’s inventions, either in their bedroom or elaborate tree fort.

Henry witnesses an event from their neighbor Glenn (Dean Norris), and the action is so heinous that the genius boy begins to plot a kind of revenge. At the same time he is suffering from tremendous headaches that eventually leads to a seizure. The story that occurs post his stay in the hospital is the switch-up in the plot, and it’s up to his mother Susan to deliver it from there.

”The Book of Henry” opens nationwide on June 16th. Featuring Naomi Watts, Jacob Tremblay, Sarah Silverman, Bobby Moynihan, Jaeden Lieberher, Lee Pace and Dean Norris. Written by Gregg Hurwitz. Directed by Colin Trevorrow. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Book of Henry”

Henry (Jaeden Lieberer) and Peter (Jacob Tremblay) in ‘The Book of Henry’
Photo credit: Focus Features

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Book of Henry”

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