Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
What makes a great movie? Well first and foremost I would have to say the opinions of each and every individual that sees it and thinks that it’s great. For example I think that Friday the 13th is a great movie and anyone that tries to tell me differently will fall on deaf ears. So if that is the case, what is the point of having movie reviewers such as myself? Do we know more than the people that read our reviews? Do we have a better understanding of what the general public should and should not be going to see? The answer to both of those questions is a hard NO. I have no way of knowing what film is going to touch any one of you in a personal way, or tickle your funny bone or scare the Hell out of you. So why write reviews and bother to put my opinion out there? There is one reason for that and it should be the only reason that someone would review films. I love movies. Period. That is why my reviews, unlike some other peoples, come from a personal standpoint. I tell you what I like and don’t like and my reasons for it. Reviews from a subjective point of view make little sense to me because what is great and what sucks is based on each person’s opinion so I am here to give you mine. This kind of review is my favorite because although I love MANY movies, the ones that are most special to me are the ones that touch me personally. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is one of those films, and now I get to tell you why.
Oskar Schell (Horn) is a nine year old boy that has a very close relationship with his Father, Thomas (Hanks). The two of them have been working on a mystery/scavenger hunt that has Oskar finding everyday objects around New York that may be clues to help in finding what it is they are really looking for. On September 11th Oskar is sent home early from school due to the tragic events that are happening in New York. Upon arriving home he finds messages on the answering machine from Thomas who happened to be in a meeting on the 105th floor of the Word Trade Center, North Building, on that day. After his father is dead, Oskar and his Mother, Linda (Bullock) rarely speak and she just cannot seem to get through to him. A couple of weeks pass and Oskar finds a key in an envelope labeled “Black” in his fathers closet. Convinced that his father left him this key to find, Oskar becomes obsessed with finding the lock this key fits into and takes on the large task of doing so.
The first thing that I want to tell you is that this film is NOT about 911. Yes, the events of that day have a great impact on the story but that is not what this film is truly about. This film is about loss and learning to deal with it. This film is about searching for something and finding something, or things, even greater. For me, the films that affect me the most are the ones that send you on an emotional train ride that makes all the stops. Happy, sad, angry, funny, fear, hurt, hope, they are all there. You are taken on this ride by the amazing performance of young Thomas Horn as Oskar. I was surprised how this kid had the ability to make me want to slap him through half of the story and then completely turn my emotions around by the second half. Max Von Sydow and John Goodman both give memorable performances in roles that are a bit smaller than we are used to seeing them in. As for Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, what can be said? Love them or hate them, one thing is for sure and that is they can act and they don’t disappoint here. On a personal level, this film made me relive the memories of losing my own father at a young age. It made me see how that hurt affected my mother and how hard it must be to this very day to watch me and see him. The endless struggle and hard work that I have put into trying to make him proud and never feeling like I succeeded. Although there are several films that have touched me on a personal level, none have stirred emotions in me like this one and I am not ashamed to say that the tears kept coming during the drive home from the theater. Am I saying that you have had to experience some major loss to truly appreciate this film? Not in any way. I am telling you that is why I did. This is going to be one of the best films of 2012 and I hope that you will take the time to see it.