Last night I watched Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close. You may notice that rarely do I review a movie and say I didn't like it. That's because I know what movies I won't like, and I don't go to them. If I'm paying ten bucks I'm not going to watch a movie I have no interest in. So when a Tom Hanks movie set to the backdrop of 9/11 comes out, yes I am going, and yes I'm probably going to like it.
Once again, I was correct. I liked this movie, however not for the reasons I thought I would. Tom Hanks is Tom Hanks, and Sandra Bullock is Sandra Bullock, so of course they did a good job. However the story centers around a kid. Not only a kid, but a kid that was found by winning an episode of Jeopardy. Not in the movie..in real life. Thomas Horn the actor that played the lead in this movie won during kids week and this is his first acting gig. Not bad, sharing the screen with Hanks and Bullock the first time out. I thought he was great. It's hard sometimes with child actors to get sucked into their role, but he did a great job. He plays a kid with obvious problems, but very smart, and he does it well.
Max von Sydow was brilliant in this movie. I won't spoil why he was so good, but he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in this movie today, and after you see the movie you will understand why this is so interesting. He was my favorite character in the movie, and again after you see this film you will know why that is a strange thing to say.
I like the movie, but not because of Hanks and Bullock. But instead because of three things, the acting by Horn and Sydow are two. The other reason is because of how careful they were with the 9/11 topic. This is the first movie I've seen that uses the attacks on our country as part of the plot, but not a "main" character. It is there, and you see it, but it doesn't drive the movie. I think that was important. If they would have tried to use 9/11 to add more emotion to the film, it could have been counter productive. The movie centers more around families trying to move on that lost someone in World Trade Center. They could have gone for the easy emotional response of making the whole movie about this, but I think they would have taken on even more criticism than they already have. I think this movie opens the door for other movies to touch on this topic that to this date, not a lot have dared to do.
The story is about a boy trying to keep his memory of his father alive. People can relate to that. When we lose someone close, we try to find a way to still connect with them. Sometimes we find what we are looking for, sometimes we don't, and this movie reminds us to pay attention to the search itself. I would recommend this movie, but I see that I may be in the minority on my opinion of this film. Much like The Descendants, this movie isn't as mainstream as some would like. There isn't a lot of action, or comedy. But that is the point. This is a story about life...and most of the time we all live our lives without explosions and chase scenes.