Long Title, Worthwhile Movie

Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) learns to deal with loss and grief.

Do me a favor: Don’t be dissuaded by negative reviews and not see “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” If so, you’ll have missed a unique, surprisingly uplifting experience. It’s a wonderfully acted movie (you can rarely go wrong with Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis, Tom Hanks, and Jeffrey Wright) that helps us see how people cope with the loss of a loved one and the desire to always stay connected with that person.

Thomas Horn does a terrific job as Oskar Schell, whose beloved father, Thomas (Hanks), dies in the World Trade Center on 9/11. A jeweler, he, unfortunately, was attending a business meeting at Windows on the World on that fateful day. This is Horn’s first acting job; he was discovered when he excelled in Teen Jeopardy.

Oskar shares a strong bond with his dad (Tom Hanks).

Some reviewers are put off by Horn’s character, who probably has Asperger’s Syndrome, complete with all kinds of anxieties and phobias. But that’s how he’s written in the book the film is based on (I’m reading that novel by Jonathan Safran Foer now; it’s really unusual). Oskar’s father wants his son to move out of his “box,” so he gives him reconnaissance expeditions in Central Park that force him to talk to people and solve riddles.

After Thomas Schell’s death, Oskar finds a key hidden in a vase in his dad’s closet. Believing that it’s linked to something his dad wanted him to find, the preteen journeys through New York City’s five boroughs, facing his fears one step at a time. Will the key unlock a way for Oskar to always remember his father?

Mom Linda (Sandra Bullock) comforts her son.

Bullock has the unenviable role as a grief-stricken wife who doesn’t connect as well with Oskar as her husband always did. (I really related to this, because my younger son has such a strong bond with the Mister.) She seems detached from Oskar when he needs her the most. I was dabbing my eyes with a tissue when this was resolved. The ending is simply wonderful.

Go see this fine movie!

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8 responses to “Long Title, Worthwhile Movie

  1. Oh I had no idea this book was being adapted into a movie. Man, I’m outta touch! I loved this book. Tough topic and tough little boy. Thanks for the tip. I’ll check it out – but probably on video 🙂

  2. More irritating than touching, healing or any of the positive things one would guess such a story and cast would produce. This was just a totally manipulative film that tries so hard to be emotional that it almost strains itself and its leading “actor”, Thomas Horn who is probably one of the most annoying kids I have seen on-screen in awhile. Good review Susan.

    • As you know, I totally disagree with your review. Thomas Horn HAS to be annoying, because his CHARACTER is annoying. That’s how it’s written (the script follows the book). It’s almost like saying that the “Iron Lady” would’ve been better if Meryl Streep didn’t have a British accent. This was one of the best movies I’ve seen lately.

  3. Susan this is one of the few positive reviews I have seen from this film. Also glad to see you have some rose buds in Houston already, I have some family there.

  4. Hi Susan, I was also surprised at the number of negative reviews. I enjoyed it, and I’m glad you posted a review that encourages people to go see the movie. I also wrote a review on my blog, and I have to say, I cried buckets. 🙂

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