Tuesday, December 27, 2011
12-25-11: Never Forget
EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE (2011) (PG-13) 128 mins. **** D: Stephen Daldry. Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks, Thomas Horn, Max Von Sydow.
Oskar Schell is a young boy filled with a sense of curiosity and a eye for puzzle solving. He may also suffer from Aspergers but as he says the tests were inconclusive. After the loss of his father on 9/11, he finds a key in his father's closet and sets out on an incredible journey to discover what it opens.
Not since "Reign on Me" has a film dealt with the grief that followed the events of 9/11. I believe this is the first to see the impact it had on the children. Just the thought of it is heartbreaking but when you see first-hand how that moment changes Oskar's life is stunning.
The journey that Oskar takes is a fascinating one that you want to see reach a satisfactory conclusion. This young boy sets out on his own and meets countless people, strangers mind you, that he would never have met under different circumstances. It's an enjoyable and sad expedition of discovery.
This film rests solely on the able shoulders of young Thomas Horn. Not only is he believable as a boy who may suffer from Aspergers but also portrays the mixed emotions of a boy who not only misses his father but is struggling to understand why this all had to happen. Sandra Bullock is very good as his mother who is willing to give him the independence to sort things out on his own. Max Von Sydow is great as a man he meets that joins him on his adventure.
This is very much a film about grief and healing. It may be a hard journey to take but in the end it is very rewarding.