The Book of Henry 0.0 stars

Book of Henry movie poster

A Rube Goldberg machine delights because it employs a ridiculously complex mechanism to achieve a thoroughly simple — and ultimately insignificant — result. The insignificance is what makes the complexity funny. So it’s disconcerting, which is a nice way of saying mortifying, when the titular boy genius in Colin Treverrow’s botched drama engineers a kind of large scale Rube Goldberg machine designed to help his mother achieve a result that is frighteningly significant. The rest of the film attempts to present the viewer with some justification for Henry’s actions, but (there and elsewhere) reveals itself as a different sort of Rube Goldberg machine: one that seeks to draw out simple human emotions through precisely engineered (but still ridiculous) mechanics. Meep morp, it’s funny when a boy talks like a sophisticated and mature adult, even in the precise moment when he admits that he is a child. And it’s touching when a ballerina weeps during her performance, meep morp. However hard the talented cast may try, those aren’t people up on the screen; they’re candles, balloons, and marbles. 2017.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

Comments

Sign in to comment

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader

Close