The Book Of Henry, starring fan favorites like Naomi Watts, Maddie Ziegler, and Jacob Tremblay, opened at the Los Angeles Film Festival on Wednesday to...befuddlement. As in, those of us who weren't at the premiere can't figure out what the hell is going on. It seems that the film follows a single mother (Watts) raising her two sons (Tremblay and Jaeden Lieberher) who all discover that their neighbor (Ziegler) is being abused by her stepfather. But, clearly, it's so much more, because critics and lucky (or maybe, not-so-lucky) viewers left the the theater and immediately took to Twitter to say pretty much the same thing: WTF did they just watch?
I've been able to glean a few things from the criticism: It's hard to pull off a Wes Anderson aesthetic when the plot is about child abuse, there's a huge twist that makes things more confusing, and the movie in general is so baffling that there don't appear to be words in any human language to describe it. But people tried, and it's hilarious.
"The Book of Henry is like an hour and forty minutes of repeatedly spilling grape juice," one viewer tweeted.
"Listening to people try to explain THE BOOK OF HENRY is probably one million times better than watching THE BOOK OF HENRY," said another.
"I haven't seen it, but exactly how many puppies did 'The Book of Henry' back over in its car?" another joked.
And they just get crazier:
"my BOOK OF HENRY review is gonna be a Rube Goldberg machine that punches you in the face"
"i just read some spoilers for the book of henry and...what the fuck is this movie "
"My favorite part of the Book of Henry reviews I've read so far is that each critic is saying, 'This movie is so nuts, I have to spoil it.'"
"THE BOOK OF HENRY has gone from a hard pass to a must-see to confirm that it is just as schlocky, batshit crazy as everyone says."
"There's no way Book of Henry can live up to the unreality of having a human person who has seen Book of Henry describe it to you."
Is it good? Is it bad? It doesn't matter, because now I have to see it.