CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Raising two precocious children all by herself is a challenge for any single mom, but having an 11-year-old genius in the family becomes extremely demanding, making “The Book of Henry” a provocative and often troubling study into the unusual relationship between mother and son.
Mom Naomi Watts boasts to a friend, “Find me another male of the species more grown up than him.”
There you have Watts’ blessing and burden. Newcomer Jaeden Lieberher gives an amazing performance. He not only balances the family checkbook, but alerts his somewhat clueless mother about the child abuse being suffered by his classmate next door.
Henry’s real genius is the extent of his compassion for the victim. “The Book of Henry” takes a melodramatic turn. Sexual abuse of a child is never an easy issue to bring to the screen.
The film focuses on henry’s amazing mental dexterity. But mom must determine if he’s mature enough to show good judgment along with his obvious brilliance.
Don’t be fooled by the family-style trappings, and don’t even consider taking your children to see “The Book of Henry” unless they’re remarkably attuned to the adult world.
This is independent cinema at its finest, inflicting pain as it makes a statement. “The Book of Henry” is as controversial as it is intriguing, and not always pleasant to watch. But it is worthwhile, and for that, “The Book of Henry” can expect 3 stars.
Unlike “Transformers” and other such garbage, “The Book of Henry” flatters your intelligence….
1 Hour 50 Minutes
Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, Jacob Tremblay, Sarah Silverman