It can be just as much of an impediment to be at the pinnacle of the intelligence scale, as the nadir; trying to adjust to your peers averageness; suffocating arrogance, with limited minds; yearning for inclusion when your intellect portends isolation; “The Book of Henry” is an extraordinary story about a well-adjusted genius, “Henry” (brilliant and superb, Jaeden Lieberher), his brother “Peter” ( irresistible Jacob Tremblay) and single-mother “Susan” (marvelously magnetic Naomi Watts).
Director Colin Trevorrow places his protagonists in a small, homogenous New England town; “Brady Bunch” environment, children walk and ride their bikes to school, but “the brighter the light the darker the shadow”, evil lurks behind the benign, bucolic landscape.
“Henry”, an exceptional eleven-year-old, balances the checkbook, invests in the stock market and protects his younger brother “Peter” from bullies; anyone who has a sibling will recognize the yin and yang of their relationship. Henry also senses that something is awry with his next door neighbor “Maggie” (ethereal Maddie Ziegler), alerts the school, to no avail, hence the “book of Henry”.
Naomi Watts is luminous as a mother in perfect harmony with her children, giving them the space and respect to develop, but also is a restrictive presence when circumstances demand.
“The Book of Henry” subtlety examines the parameters between childhood and adulthood, prodigious wisdom and rational behavior, resulting in a thrilling scenario that will resonate with mature and seasoned viewers.