I don’t generally write reviews of movies, but hey it was adapted from a book and I feel compelled to do so with this one. Here’s a bit about the film from its website: 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.
My TakeIn the mind of a child everything has a reason for happening. There is the ever present “why” tied to everything until the sea of whys have been quelled in their landscape. Some things have no answers, no reasons, nothing solid and concrete to hang on to. Oskar is a young boy longing to discover an answer or at least some legacy left behind by his father that will help him make sense of what has happened; to show him how to go on from the very painful existence he’s experiencing since his father’s death. His father used to send him on expeditions. Expeditions that were the most masterfully crafted experiences to challenge Oskar in facing his fears, pushing his boundaries, and yet all of that cloaked in the adventure of it all. Oskar most assuredly faces challenges with sensory processing issues and more than likely Asperger’s Syndrome (a condition on the autism spectrum). Clinging to the memory of his father he sets out in search of the lock to fit the key he found in his father’s belongings. Along the way, he meets a myriad of people who may not know what the key fits but they each bring their own gifts to Oskar. He may help some of them to find answers of their own on his journey.
This movie was a symphony of emotion where not a sour note was struck. The emotions were far ranging and ran the gamut of the human experience. The characters are rich, deep and honest. Thomas Horn, who plays Oskar gives an amazing performance. This is his first movie and we’re bound to see more of him for many years to come. Tom Hanks plays his wildly creative, extremely loving father that we get to know through flashbacks. Sandra Bullock plays his loving, albeit grief stricken mother. The rest of the cast is wonderful as well. This movie is phenomenal and should be experienced. I wish I could give more than 5 kisses but these 5 will have to be the answer. Now get yourself to the movies. J