Saturday, January 21, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Movie Review

What an incredibly touching and deep story. A new actor, Thomas Horn, plays Oskar Schell who loses his Dad (Tom Hanks) in the 9/11 Twin Towers attack. Playing opposite Tom Hanks ad Sandra Bullock (Oskar's Mom) is no small feat. But this 14 year old star of the movie pulls it off with panache.


The movie puts different spin on 9/11--even though officially it is not about 9/11 and it isn't. It is not a 9/11 movie, but yet at the same time it uses the events of 9/11 to put a very personal spin on how real people are affected by real incidents. The movie is about growing--accepting loss and overcoming the paralyzing fear of the unknown.

Oskar is a 9 year old, special needs boy who loses his best friend, his father, on 9/11. He sets out on a quest to put the pieces of the story together centered around a key he finds in his father's closet a year later. His devotion to trying to find the lock that the key opens enables him to overcome a myriad of fears and limitations while growing and developing new relationships. Along his journey he meets many people--many who are also hurting, but they all have a story.

This is a must see movie about the victory of love over the forces of hate which would deprive us of fulfilling relationships. Most of all, the movie is about growing and becoming better than we were when we started despite the events that confront us.

Tom Hanks, Max von Sydow (the Renter) and Sandra Bullock give excellent performances. It has been a long time since I have seen von Sydow in a movie and he gives a performance worth of Oscar consideration.As I wrote already, this movie is carried on the shoulders of Thomas Horn, whose portrayal of Oskar is deep, complex, and consistent throughout. I believe his inaugural performance is also Oscar worthy because he truly carries the movie.

I learned a new word--which will always make me smile and help me to remember the movie--oxymoronist.




-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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