February 12, 2012
"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" tells the sad story of a "special" child Oscar (Thomas Horn) who lost his father (Tom Hanks) in the World Trade Center attacks on 9-11. A difficult year later, Oscar breaks a blue vase in his father's closet and finds a key. In his effort to extend his connection to his father, Oscar goes on a quest all over New York City to track down the lock which the key opens.
I admit it was not very easy to watch Oscar dealing with his father's death since they were very close with each other. The fact that Oscar had some special sort of Asperger's-like, Obsessive-Compulsive syndrome made it even more difficult. In his quest, Oscar was very methodical and precise in order to maximize his time. However in the process, he meets all of these people who all had problems of their own. You do feel that such a "quest" was highly unlikely to have happened in real life, but the story-telling of Director Stephen Daldry and the riveting performance of Thomas Horn as Oscar will draw you in up to the end. Supporting performances of Sandra Bullock (as Oscar's mother) and Max Von Sydow (as Oscar's mute neighbor) also score points for this film.
I watched this film only because it had been nominated for Best Picture in the coming Oscar Awards. It is not really my type of film. This was the last of the 9 nominees I watched. I was thinking it would probably rank last in the list of 9 because it had no other nominations, except for that of Max Von Sydow. My low expectations actually made me like this film! I thought the direction, cinematography, musical score and film editing of this movie were actually quite impressive. "Extremely Loud" is definitely NOT on the bottom of my list. (That would be the over-rated "Hugo" for me.)