Sunday, January 22, 2012

Phil sees EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE at the Camera 12-January 21, 2012

For my second film of the day on Saturday I saw EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE, which is based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer and stars Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, John Goodman, James Gandolfini, Jeffrey Wright, Viola Davis, Max Von Sydow and Thomas Horn. The film was directed by Stephen Daldry (THE READER, THE HOURS, and BILLY ELLIOT).

Theatrical Movie Poster (2012)
The film's about nine-year-old Osker Schell (Horn), who father Thomas (Hanks) was killed during the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, which he refers to as "the worst day." One year later, Osker accidentally discovers a key in a envelope that was hidden in a blue vase in his father's closet. Convinced that his father had left him one final message to find, Oskar hits the streets of New York, determined to find the lock that the key fits. Still coping from the loss, his mother Linda (Bullock) has difficulty with raising her son, which only reminds her how much she still needs Thomas in her life. The strain of losing his father causes Osker to have an almost nervous breakdown, as he tries to understand why things the way they are without reason or logic, but also a secret that has he has been carrying since his father's death.

The film is so extraordinary in so many different ways that it's very difficult for me to express in words. One thing is that what happened on 9/11 still haunt many of us Americans, especially those who lost loved ones in the World Trade Center. For me, it was a nightmare that I could not wake up from. I saw the whole event unfold before my very eyes, and I still couldn't believe it. To this day, my eyes still swell up with tears of loss, sadness, and heartache. It's a day that I, and all Americans, will never, ever forget.

But on the film's website, it states that, "This is not a story about September 11th, it's about every day after." The film could be labeled as a child's story of 9/11, but that would be too easy to say. Rather, the film focuses on a young boy, who experienced one of the most horrifying losses a child should never go through, and chronicles his life after that tragic day. Horn is the film's star, while both Hanks and Bullock take on the supporting roles. In the film, Horn's character Oskar suffers from a wide variety of anxieties. Even though the film never revealed his medical condition, he hints to having Asperger Syndrome, but throughout the film his disorders range from Francophile to being a pacifist. He's scared to cross bridges, feels that all forms of public transportation are easy targets for terrorist's attacks, and believes the swings in the Brooklyn Park are unfit to play on, even though a year earlier his father tells him to relax and have fun.

Horn is incredible as the complex Osker, which really shows us that this kid has major talent. Playing such a complex role at such a young age, Horn nails his performance with believability, dry humor, and pathos. He is going to have a very long and amazing career in Hollywood. One has to wonder what will he'll be doing when he gets older. Both Hanks and Bullock bring class, humor, and dignity to their parental roles, with Hanks' character Thomas being the catalyst in Osker's obsession.

Daldry directs the film beautifully and really focuses on the theme of loss, death, and rebirth. But he also focuses on the emotional distraught and self realization to coming to grips with the way the world is. For Osker, it doesn't make sense, and most children think like this. However, sometimes we don't get the closure that we need to move on, and thus, we must learn to let go and go on living. Sometimes is is unberable, but life if full of joy as well. We just have to remember that.

EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE is a marvelous film, powerful and emotional, it takes us on a journey called life. The film transcends into something completely different than the other films focusing on 9/11. This film reminds us that even after "the worst day" we are still alive, and where there's life there's hope. And for children who lost a parent during 9/11, this film will serve as a healing factor, for this will remind them that they are not alone, nor will they ever be alone. Highly recommended for the whole family!!

EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Are. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an interesting film, hun. Thank you for sharing it with us :)