Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Still from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Nine year-old Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) loses his Father Thomas (Tom Hanks) tragically as a result of the September 11th World Trade Center attacks. Before his passing, Thomas leaves behind a mysterious Key in his closet, leading Oskar to go an on all-consuming search throughout the five Boroughs of New York City to find its accompanying Lock.
This quest however, happens without his grieving Mother Linda's (Sandra Bullock) knowledge and along the way, Oskar gets a bit of unlikely help from an Elderly Gentleman (Max von Sydow) who is renting a room from his Grandmother (Zoe Caldwell). The Boy must face and conquer his own personal demons in unraveling this great Mystery in honour of his beloved Father.

Director Stephen Daldry (The Reader, The Hours) truly can do no wrong and such is the case with the intense, detailed and heartfelt Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, an Adaptation of the bestselling Novel by Jonathan Safran Foer.  Despite already an impeccable Cast, all eyes migrate to Breakout Star Horn, a discovery from Game Show Jeopardy. The young Actor handles the quiet nuances required of his Role with equal dexterity as its more melodramatic moments.  A true indication of his ability comes in a particularly tricky and verbose scene where he is paired with von Sydow, rattling off his lines with the skill and conviction of a true Professional beyond his years.  Horn holds his own beautifully in key tender moments with Oscar-caliber talents Bullock, Jeffrey Wright and Viola Davis.

Perhaps the one thing can be faulted here is that we never get clear enough a picture of the bond and relationship which Oskar has with his Father for us to feel his great loss.  This ultimately should be the heart and soul of the Story and motivating factor to push him along this impossibly difficult mission.  The Boy also is painted so incredibly complex and self-aware that there are moments where I found myself finding it challenging to connect and empathize with him on a genuine level.  Regardless, the sound of loud sobs in the Theatre at my Screening evinced clearly how poignant a Story this is and that for many is rewarding enough.

Warner Bros.' Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close hits theatres in limited markets on Christmas Day, expanding nationwide on January 20, 2012.