The Book of Henry is certainly not a good film, but calling it a bad one doesn’t seem to fit; it falls short of the mark, but not in the way a truly bad film does. Rather, it fails to answer two vital questions—who is it for, and what is it about?—and it’s hard to imagine anyone being satisfied with the end result.
SAG announced their nominations today.
Historically, the film that wins Best Ensemble here has to be considered the Best Picture frontrunner. Looking at that category, it seems pretty likely.
But as far as the individual acting categories are concerned…things can get strange. Sometimes SAG nominates actors who seemed primed for an Oscar nod and failed to connect (Oprah in The Butler, for one), and other times they nominate someone seemingly out of the blue (Naomi Watts in St. Vincent, Nicole Kidman in The Paperboy).
I can’t speak about the former, but the latter is surely on display today.
After the success of Ted, Seth MacFarlane’s future as a filmmaker seemed assured. When the sequel to Ted drops next June, his future may again seem so. But now, in the face of poor reviews and weak box office (and, for my money, the shortcomings of Ted itself), it’s fair to wonder whether MacFarlane is really cut out for the cinema. I won’t deny that I laughed, but A Million Ways to Die in the West is hugely uneven and often rather baffling. As I’ve said elsewhere, you might as well just watch Django Unchained or Blazing Saddles, unless you really want to see someone shit in a hat.