Despite of what you may suspect, I don’t ONLY review big budget, major studio movies…
Case in point, the new drama-thriller, THE BOOK OF HENRY, that opens this weekend in limited runs.
How to describe it?
For starters it’s a so-called “small” film dealing with the human spirit.
It’s very well cast but not much can be told of the plot without ruining the entire premise of the picture.
What we’ve got here is the extraordinarily touching drama of an 11 year-old boy genius named Henry who pretty well takes care of his single mom, a waitress and his younger brother.
Henry is pretty well on top of everything and everybody—even the finances of his self-doubting mother.
And then there’s the family next door…
It’s just the local police commissioner and his young stepdaughter Maddie.
And now the dark goings-on that Henry discovers and tries to intervene in take his brilliance to an even higher level.
Sadly, that’s about as far as I can take the story line here.
Suffice it to say, his schemes to save the neighbor girl take on some brilliant twists and turns.
The film is a passion project of JURASSIC WORLD director Colin Trevorrow whose next tentpole will be STAR WARS: EPISODE IX in 2019.
So this small in-between film finds itself in good company.
As for the casting?
Strong on all levels, including Naomi Watts as the mother, Jaeden Lieberher as Henry, Sarah Silverman as the other waitress (and friend) and SNL’s Bobby Moynihan in a brief straight role playing the owner of the diner at which both Watts and Silverman work. Good solid performances ALL around.
I wish that I could tell you more and get into plot details, but it would only spoil it for you.
I will say this though.
It’s refreshing to come across a small film like this during a period of worn tentpoles, blow ’em ups and popcorn nuttiness.
Take a chance on THE BOOK OF HENRY. You won’t regret it!
My grade: B
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings during Kansas City’s Morning News on 98.1 FM, KMBZ.