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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

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Cast: Tom Hanks (Thomas Schell), Thomas Horn (Oskar Schell), Sandra Bullock (Linda Schell), Zoe Caldwell (Oskar”'s Grandmother), Max von Sydow (The Renter), Stephen Henderson (Walt the Locksmith), Viola Davis (Abby Black), Jeffrey Wright (William Black), Hazelle Goodman (Hazelle Black, Jim Norton (Old Mr. Black), Ryka Dottavio (Maris Black), Carmen M. Herlihy (Dennis Black), Adrian Martinez (Hector Black), Gregory Korostishevsky), (Boris Black), Marco Verna (E.S. Black). (PG-13) Running time:129 minutes. Director: Stephen Daldry. 

The title of this movie “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” is probably the most insidious title for a movie in 2011. Full of emotion”“without being mawkish”“full story”“without resorting to soap opera”“Stephen Daldry”'s “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” tells a story through a boy”'s eyes of tragedy, turmoil and redemption. Thomas Schell (Thomas Hanks) and his son Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) share their interests in science until Oskar ”˜s father meets fate in the Twin Towers on 9/11, turning Oskar”'s life into a tailspin of emotions. To maintain a better link to Oskar”'s emotional roller coaster, many flashbacks of Oskar and his dad in heart warming sequences set the tone for an impressive performance by the nine-year old boy Thomas Horn.(Thomas Horn was a contestant on the television show “Jeopardy”, which he won.)

Oskar is the only child of Thomas and Linda (Sandra Bullock) Schell and the boy has just been tested for Asperger”'s syndrome. Oskar is an inventor, something his dad encouraged. Thomas is Oskar”'s mentor which plays well in Stephen Daldry”'s movie. Then, again, Tom Hanks has been there before playing the even-tempered character for years. Oskar finds solace in his grandmother”'s (Zoe Caldwell) tenant simply known as “The Renter” (Max von Syndow), a man of few words.

After his father”'s death, Oskar finds a key in a box in his dad”'s closet with a note “Black” written on it. This mysterious key and note inspires him to visit every person (In New York, mind you) with the last name “Black”. After contacting numerous persons with the surname “Black”, he finds Abby Black (Viola Davis) in the midst of a martial breakup, something the nine-year old doesn”'t understand. Viola Davis and Jeffrey Wright (William Black, the soon to be ex-husband) are crucial (much later) to the movie. The boy deserves much credit for traveling from borough to borough to find a clear clue to his dead father”'s key and note.

The movie is about grief and healing. The 9/11 tragedy is merely a backdrop on a set piece. I can hardly say the movie is overly sentimental but can say the director puts his audience in a mood of what actually does happen with some people, especially children, after the loss of a loved one or close friend.

Corrections for Howard”'s Movie Corner from the February 2012 Vol 37 issue: Number 6 read George King in parentheses when the correct name is George Clooney. Number 8,” The Artist,” the correct director is Micheal Hazanavicius. Number 9, “The Ides of March,” the correct director is George Clooney.

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