Even though the legendary likes of Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock grace our screens in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, there is no doubt it is young newcomer Thomas Horn that shines in this moving drama. 12-year-old Horn plays Oskar Schell, a troubled young boy dealing with his fears in everyday life as well as coping with the death of his father (Tom Hanks) along with maintaining his relationship with his mother (Sandra Bullock).
Brought to us by the stylistic director Stephen Daldry, the visionary behind award-winning films like The Readerand Billy Elliot,this movie possesses some wonderful visuals (most likely lifted straight from the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer) – a young boy running alongside a train shaking his tambourine for comfort, an old man afraid to talk so leaves notes everywhere he goes, and paper birds fluttering in the sky. You could almost say it is has the touch of the whimsy about it, much like existing movie, The Lovely Bones.
There have been a fair number of films that tackle the [still sore] subject, of the September 11 terrorist attacks, but not one before this has looked so closely into how it affected those who lost someone in the devastation. There is so much character development, and the beautifully written dialogue allows the audience to feel so close to the people in the film, causing their moments of pain and anguish to give you a lump in your throat. Not only is this movie a tear-jerker however, it does have some endearing comedic bits particularly the parts in which Oskar is playing and exploring with his dad. These scenes stop the movie from making the viewers feel like complete emotional wrecks, but rather heart-warmed and touched.
It’s the kind of movie that stays with you, hours after you leave the cinema. It has the ability to move you, even though chances are, your life is not related to the 9/11 attacks in anyway. Yes, that is what this film is about but it goes beyond that with personal insight on the character’s part, making the audience think about, their own fears, own lives and how sacred the relationships within them are. They should re-name this film Extremely Good Acting & Incredibly Moving. It is surprising that, even though it is his debut breakout film, Horn is not nominated for any awards in this season – but keep your eyes peeled, this budding actor will definitely be up there with the greats soon if Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is anything to go by.