Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekly Movie #4

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Director: Stephen Daldry
Cast: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bulluck, Max von Sydow, Viola Davis
Released: December 25, 2011
Viewed in theaters: January 26, 2012

Oscar nominations:
Best Picture (lost to The Artist)
Best Supporting Actor - Max von Sydow (lost to Christopher Plummer for Beginners)

 This movie's title is extremely long and incredibly confusing. The movie itself is extremely depressing and incredibly sad. Okay, I'll stop. If you are huge fans of Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock and are thinking of seeing this movie only for them, they are both supporting characters as the young boy's parents and are really only in a few scenes. The film is centered around nine-year-old Oskar Schell (played by Thomas Horn in his first movie role; apparently he was on kids' Jeopardy! and that was how he was discovered) an odd kid who has a different way of how he looks at the world and is extremely smart, but can also be incredibly annoying. (Whoops! I did it again!)

Oskar's world comes tumbling down when his father, who was in the World Trade Center for a meeting, is killed on 9/11. It's clear that he was closer to his father, who encouraged him to learn new experiences and talk to new people, the latter Oskar had a difficult time with. In a heartbreaking scene, he even tells his mother he wished that she had been the one who had died and instead of being angry with him, she agrees with him.

Oskar finds a key in his dad's closet in an envelop with the name "Black" written on it and is convinced that they key opens something where a message from his father is waiting and whoever this Black person is can help them. Of course there are many Blacks listed in the phone book and he estimates it will take three years to go through all of them. The kid is very precise. He's mapped out all the addresses and how much time he plans to spend with each person. He's joined by the old man who's known as the renter (Von Sydrow) his grandmother is renting a room to. Due to a traumatic event in his life, he doesn't speak, just writes on paper and has "yes" written on one palm and "no" on the other to answer simple questions. We discover something about him that's pretty obvious from the beginning.

Poor Oskar has been living with a secret for over a year about how he was home when his dad called from the World Trade Center on that day, but he never picked up the phone and he was too ashamed to admit this to anyone. Bring your tissues for this one, folks!

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