Sunday, January 22, 2012

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close...some thoughts...

As soon as I saw the preview trailer in the theater for this movie, I wanted to see it when it came out. I began to read reviews in the paper to see what people thought of it and was surprised to see really snarky comments. There were things like it's trying so hard to be an Oscar contender, it's overly sentimental, etc. Sometimes I am influenced by reviews, but I saw coming attractions again and really wanted to check it out, so I did. Here's a description from Warner Bros about what the film is about...

Oskar (Thomas Horn) is convinced that his father (Tom Hanks), who died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, has left a final message for him hidden somewhere in the 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 observed, Oskar begins searching New York City for the lock that fits a mysterious key he found in his father's closet. His journey through the five boroughs takes him beyond his own loss to a greater understanding of the observable world around him.

The film focuses on Oskar as he struggles to process his father's death. Oskar tries to hold on to his father as long as possible by pursuing a journey to discover the lock that fits his father's key. It looks at 9/11 through the eyes of a child that is intimately affected by it. I had no idea the film was based on a novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Yes, I understand some of the criticisms about it, but I think people tend to over think things. True they didn't show a lot of the father (Hanks) or the mother (Bullock), but the story was really about the kid and how he dealt with his loss. There were scenes of the child going about his day the morning of the event. It made me think so much of my own experience. I was in NY that day in a school and I remember exactly what room I was in and how I was facing the window when a teacher's assistant received a call from her daughter telling her what was going on. My first thought was: A plane hit the World Trade Center? How could the pilot not see that big building? Then the assistant screamed that another plane hit the second building. I just wasn't processing this. I thought: Didn't that idiot see a plane hit the first building?! After a few seconds, I realized something was very wrong. Watching this film brought me back to that day.

I loved the quirky twists and turns of the film. It's a little lesson in the geography and culture of New York City and the characters that populate the town. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close isn't a perfect film or radically profound, but it is a nice story of a little boy's loss; it makes one think about what it takes to overcome such loss. It will lead you to examine your own and the mortality of others.

What legacy do you want to leave?


  1. Just stopping by all the blogs I follow to say hello and check out what is up at your blog today! Happy reading.

  2. I have been so interested in this movie...I really want to see it but we will wait and see it at far I haven't been able to smuggle Lucy into a theatre...she just won't keep her mouth shut!!!

  3. I'm sure Lucy will be gracious enough to let you out of the house for one evening, Patty! Lol...

  4. I'm still not ready to see a 9/11 film. Seems strange but it still hits too hard. But then I've never been a fan of sad movies.


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