“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” is an incredibly moving and influential film. The 130 minute movie captures the heartbreak and loss of September 11, 2001 while also setting the stage for an intricate mystery and journey through life’s hardships. Released in the Winter of 2011 the movie is still popular over five years later for its amazing tribute to 9/11 and spotlight on the effects of that tragedy on a specific young boy.
The brilliance of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” is its combination of themes. Not only does the movie elaborate on the struggle of losing a family member to tragedy but it also sheds light on the effects one child can have on a community.
Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is a curious boy who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. His whole life his dad, Thomas Schell sends him on wild journeys through New York City on a quest to find the mysterious sixth bureau of New York. Oskar greatly admires his father and relies on his witful adventures to handle his disorder.
On what Oskar thinks is an ordinary day he loses his beloved father to the terror attacks on New York City. Leaving yet another secretive mystery behind, Oskar’s father leaves six messages on the phone machine during the attack on the Towers. Oskar discovers them and hides them from his mother to try to avoid the agony that comes with hearing the sound of his father’s frantic voice.
As the movie progresses Oskar discovers a blue vase that belonged to his father. Inside the vase, Oskar finds a key. The film then spirals into the young boy’s search across the city for the significance of the key. Along the way he meets tens of people that each have a different story or trouble. One of them being a man who no longer speaks but is moved by Oskar’s pride and determination to solve what he believes to be another mystery left behind for him by his father. Oskar’s journey will leave the reader on the edge of the seat until the very last moments of the film where the viewer will be reaching for the tissue box.
IMBd gave the movie 6.9/10 stars and comment that the film is “hard to follow at some points but extremely impactful”. Common Sense Media rated the movie 3 out of 5 stars and exclaimed “the movie sent an extremely positive and impactful message to the viewer”.
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” stars Thomas Horn as Oskar Schell, Sandra Bullock as Linda Schell, Tom Hanks as Thomas Schell and Max von Sydow as the Renter.
The film received the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Young Actress for Thomas Horn’s role as Oskar Schell. Oskar’s mother Linda was played by star Sandra Bullock who also starred in The Proposal, Gravity, The Blind Side, The Heat and many other successful films. Linda’s husband Thomas is played by well-known actor Tom Hanks who also starred in Sully, Forrest Gump, Cast Away and Saving Private Ryan.
Movie reviewer Angie Errigo claims “It’s just too tempting to dismiss it as extremely long and incredibly disappointing. It’s challenging, divisive and has moments of beauty but leaves you cold.” contradicting S. Johanna Robiedo’s review which gushed “Despite some overdone expositional voice-overs, director Stephen Daldry approaches the film’s material with great care and feeling… wonderful”.
Overall the “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” was a collision of love and heartbreak and loss and gain with a witful spin of mystery and miracles. Thomas Horn’s role was insightful and intelligent yet still naive and curious. The ending will leave you in tears but truly change your look on the world and community around you.♦