Tuesday 3 July 2012

Film Review: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Recently I was invited to review "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close", a wonderfully heartwarming film adapted from the acclaimed bestseller by Jonathan Foer
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” tells the story of eleven year old inventive New Yorker, Oskar, whose father died in the World Trade Center attacks. A year after what Oskar calls “The Worst Day", he discovers a key in his fathers belongings which sets him off on an urgent search across the city, looking for the lock that the key will open. Through his imaginative mind, Oskar is determined to keep his vital connection to his father, who frequently cajoled him into confronting his wildest fears. As Oskar crosses the five New York boroughs in quest of the missing lock, he encounters an eclectic assortment of people who are each survivors in their own way. They tell him their stories, and he photographs each of them to document his journey. Through his search, Oskar begins to uncover unseen links to the father he misses, and to the mother who seems so far away from him and to the whole noisy, dangerous, discombobulating world around him. He also meets a strange gentlemen, who joins him on his quest for answers. 

Directed by three-time Academy Award® nominee Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot,” “The Reader,” “The Hours”) from a screenplay by Academy Award® winner Eric Roth (“Forrest Gump,” “The Insider”), "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" stars Academy Award® winners Tom Hanks (“Forrest Gump,” “Philadelphia”) and Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”), along with newcomer Thomas Horn in the role of Oskar. The film also stars Academy Award® nominees Max von Sydow (“Shutter Island,” “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”, “Pelle the Conqueror”) and Viola Davis (“Doubt,” “The Help”), John Goodman, Jeffrey Wright and Zoe Caldwell.

I had mixed feelings after watching this film. 9/11 is a very emotive subject, and so I was afraid that this would be the overbearing feature of the film, but it isn't. Instead, I actually wish there had been a little more of 9/11 and the father's day featured in the film to set-up the plot-lines a little better, as we never really establish exactly how he came to be in the building, other than for a meeting, which leads me to wonder why a jeweller would find themselves in a skyscraper...... 

The film focuses on Oskar's quest to find the answers he is looking for, and documents his journey along the way, interspersed with flashbacks of what happened on "the worst day", including those "falling man" images, which are sensitively used in the film, but still make me shudder. 
"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" is well paced and keeps your attention right the way through. I think the acting in this film is fantastic. Thomas Horn excels in his role as Oskar, and Hanks and Bullock are also great in their roles, as is Max Von Sydow. I guessed one of the major plot lines fairly early on, but others kept me guessing and surprised me right until the end. I was a little disappointed that the film didn't really reach a complete resolution, as open-ended films are my pet-hate. However, overall, I really enjoyed watching this film and would definitely recommend watching it as it is a very heart warming film and captures the spirit of New York in the era that it is set well.

"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" is rated PG-13 for emotional thematic material, some disturbing images and language. The film is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Online.

Disclosure:  I was offered a copy of "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" in consideration of review.

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