Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
In My Opinion…
Running time: 120 minutes
Company: Warner Brothers
Starring: Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn
I’m not a liberal 5-star giver. A film really has to do something special for me to pin the coveted honour to its title – and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close deserves every single star.
Based on a book (of the same title), the movie centres on the horror of September 11th. The Schnell family lose their father/husband in the tower and are left to make sense of the grief. Oskar Schnell is “somewhere on the autistic spectrum”, an unbelievable genius who has crushing fears. He freaks out at the thought of a swing. Yet he can tell you, down to the second, the distance between a store and his home. His father (played by Tom Hanks) invents games to help Oskar explore the world and move past the walls he’s built himself. And when Oskar loses his father, his whole world smashes.
Have a box of tissues on hand. It’s a poignant film that will touch your heartstrings and give you something to mull over. The acting is brilliant. Cinematography? Great. And the plot left my eyes glued to the screen. It’s no hair-raising action thriller, but it’s a mystery – about grief and tragedy and love and family. And a key. (I like keys.)
Oksar Schnell (played by Thomas Horn) does a fabulous part. On his excursions to find the lock for the key, he takes a backpack of necessities. It’s brilliant. Especially the tambourine (for calming) that he runs around the entire city with. Every detail about Oskar enhances his part and gives you a real insight into character. He also narrates the movie. It’s a nice touch, having his perspective on the horror of September 11th as well as on life in general.
And the detail! I love a movie that pays attention the detail and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close wins full marks. The way Oskar fills maps and creates filing systems and a scrapbook full of his searchings leaves me feeling the need to create. Actually, the whole movie really inspired me. I felt like writing an epic novel afterwards (don’t worry, I banished the thought).
It’s a sad movie, make no mistake. It’s sad and deals with issues (such as family relationships, autism, grief, lying) on many levels. The wind down left me feeling satisfied, but sniffling, as the plot twists into a curly end. I’m not usually a sucker for happy endings, but in this one, I wanted to reverse the father’s death and have him walk back and in put his family back together. Reality gets in the way. I did like it though, in one of the mother-son-conflicts, how the mother ends up yelling, “It doesn’t make sense. It will never make sense.” And that’s true for all deaths and tragedies. There is no explanation. We just have to stand up and piece our worlds back together and try to move forward.
An inspiring movie, not to be missed and never to be forgotten.