Extremely Loud & Incredibly CloseClosed Captioning
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Adapted from the acclaimed bestseller by Jonathan Safran Foer, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" is a story that unfolds from inside the young mind of Oskar Schell, an inventive eleven year-old New Yorker whose discovery of a key in his deceased father's belongings sets him off on an urgent search across the city for the lock it will open. A year after his father died in the World Trade Center on what Oskar calls "The Worst Day," he is determined to keep his vital connection to the man who playfully cajoled him into confronting his wildest fears. Now, as Oskar crosses the five New York boroughs in quest of the missing lock - encountering an eclectic assortment of people who are each survivors in their own way - he begins to uncover unseen links to the father he misses, to the mother who seems so far away from him and to the whole noisy, dangerous, discombobulating world around him.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 177
- Fresh: 83
- Rotten: 94
- Average Rating: 5.5/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: The difficulty is mainly with the story, which despite all the emotion hovering around it, remains thin and uninvolving.
Fresh: The movie forgoes Foer's ambitious tweeness and presents Oskar's outbursts and moodiness - that precociousness - as a disorder.
Rotten: Stephen Daldry's extremely labored and incredibly crass adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel.
Fresh: If imagining a city where people open their doors (or don't) to a boy with a key and a ton of questions is sentimental ... then it is vitally, beautifully so.
SOME WILL LIKE IT, OTHERS WON'T.
It was certainly a shocker to many when it was announced that "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" was nominated for two Academy Awards, one of them being Best Picture. While most praised it for being a genuinely and emotionally honest tale of loss and understanding, it was dismissed by others as being a sappy, overly pretentious melodrama that forces tears rather than coerce them. In my opinion, it wasn't as bad as a lot of critics made it seem, but that's not to say it didn't have its flaws.
From the acclaimed best-selling novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, the film revolves around a young autistic boy named Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn), whose father (Tom Hanks) died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Oskar is convinced that his dad has left a hidden message for him hidden somewhere in New York City. Feeling disconnected from his grieving mother (Sandra Bullock) and driven by a relentlessly active mind that refuses to believe in things that can't be observes, the boy begins searching through the five boroughs for the lock that fits a mysterious key he found in his father's closet. Eventually, Oskar's journey takes him beyond his own loss to a greater understanding about the world around him and the people in it.
The plot is indeed intriguing and thought-provoking on its own. However, it's the way it's told that often feels disjointed and somewhat self-important. The film moves at a slow pace and most of the characters are given too much treacly exposition than there needs to be. It should also be noted that Oskar's narration constantly comes and goes throughout the movie, which takes a lot away from the story's realism and credibility. But perhaps the flick's most problematic issue is that the message it attempts to send across is one we've heard many times before, but it's handed to us in such a manipulative and forceful way that we, the audience, are never really allowed to discover it on our own.
Even with its flaws, "Extremely Loud" still peaked my interest with its wonderful cast. Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock deliver their roles as Oskar's parents with commendibility, while Viola Davis gives a small, yet sorrowing performance as a woman named Abby Black whom Oskar meets on his quest. Max von Sydow, in particular, shines as the Renter, a mysterious old man who agrees to follow the boy across the city to find the key's missing lock. I found Sydow's performance especially fascinating because his character never utters a single word, so he writes what he wants to say instead. But by far the best, if not the most convincing actor, in the entire film is its young star, Thomas Horn. His portrayal of a troubled pre-teen with Asperger's syndrome is so believable and honest, it's hard to believe that he wasn't given an Oscar nod. Not once does Horn ever break out of character, and as a result, he truly lights up the screen in every scene he's in.
In the end, I wouldn't call "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" a bad movie, not at all. Yes, it does preach its metaphoric message in a somewhat manipulative and overly sentimental way, but it also features a wide array of brilliant performances from some very talented actors, both young and old. Now, like I said earlier, some people will enjoy this film, and others will find it boring, slow and too pretentious for its own good. Personally, I felt that it ultimately delivered what it initially wanted to, but it could've been told in a less treacly light than how director Stephen Daldry presented it. Is it still worth buying or renting? Sure, but only if you have a very high tolerance for heart-wrenching, realistic melodrama. At the very least, give it a shot and see what you think.
Not for the Feeble Hearted
I saw this movie in the theater. It was a very griping movie about a young boy that is coming to terms with the loss of his father. It is emotionally difficult to watch at times. I cried and ached for the main character and for his mother. I think that the overall theme of the movie is an important one. Great movie. Just make sure to rent or watch a really good comedy afterwards.
FINALLY…A GREAT MOVIE!
This movie is full of twists and turns plus an unexpected ending. It has more drama than a Republican primary; yet it leaves the viewer feeling better about mankind! You won't regret watching this great movie!