Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

This was the title of a film directed by Stephen Daldry that I ventured out to see this evening.

The films centres around a 9 year old boy called Oskar, played by Thomas Horn, and his relationship with his father Thomas, played by Tom Hanks. However, what I wasn't prepared for is when his father is killed during the 9/11 attacks.

It is beautifully shot and a first class examination of how we deal with loss. It was a genius piece of story telling narrated throughout by Oskar. He discovers a key and believes his father had left it for him and it would lead to something that would answer all his questions to everything that has happened, which to Oskar, and everyone else for that matter, make no sense at all.

Sandra Bullock as Oskars widowed mother, and Max von Sydow as his long lost mute grandfather, put in fantastic performances. Indeed Sydow almost steals the show.

My only criticism of the film would be that it is a little long, however, that is balanced well with the great performances and cinematography.

Oskar is an unusual child, and at one point it mentions Aspergers. He portrays all of the elements in his anxious, obsessive and cold behaviour, yet is incredibly intelligent, and the events of 9/11 have only amplified his fear of the world.

As the story unfolds it becomes obvious this is Oskars search for closure. In his search to find the lock that the key fits, Oskar encounters a bizarre mix of characters. This is new York City afterall.

It would be a mistake to say this film is about 9/11. It would be closer to say it is about the effects on people by the unimaginable event. It certainly brings back memories of the day itself, and several people leaving the cinema were asking each other where they were on that day.

I was left wondering if the young actor Thomas Horn would next year be the recipient of the Oscar for best actor. Oscar for Oskar.

You heard it here first.

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