January 27, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - 2011

Director: Stephen Daldry
Writer: Eric Roth
Starring: Thomas Horn, Max von Sydow, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks

After discovering a mysterious key in a nigh-unmarked envelope in a vase in the closet of his late father (Hanks), a young boy (Horn) sets out on a journey across the five boroughs of New York City to discover the complementary lock, as well as the secrets of the mute man (von Sydow) to whom his grandmother rents a room.

Initially, I dismissed this film as cheesy and trite, and between its rating on RottenTomatoes and casting a non-child actor from children's Jeopardy, it wasn't on my radar at all...and then the Academy announced their nominations, so naturally, I went to go see it. And while there's still an intangible quality that makes me think Dujardin deserves his nomination for a silent perfomance but von Sydow doesn't, and this isn't what I consider Best Picture-worthy...at the end of the day, though, film is about being moved on a deep, emotional level, and that happened to me three separate times in the theater, by which I mean wept openly. Good for you, everyone involved with this. Almost makes me not care about the third act reveal that I saw coming from moment one, or a very unsatisfying feeling I got near the very end for reasons I can't disclose. B+


  1. Aww, wept openly. I really want to see this, I liked the book a lot more than Everything is Illuminated. But EII, filmwise, is higher up for you?

  2. I haven't read the books, although I do know they both switch back and forth between modern narrative and a story from WWII Germany, which gets cut down considerably for the films.

    I love the thesaurus-trained Ukranian in EiL way too much not to prefer that movie overall to this one.