Monday, 24 September 2012

'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' Film Review

Sandra Bullock's first film in two years after her Oscar win for 'The Blind Side', 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' was also a strong award contender, being nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Motion Picture, Best Supporting Actor).

Nine year old Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) suffers from aspergers and has always been close to his dad (Tom Hanks) who sends him on missions, getting him to talk to people. When his father dies in the 9/11 bombings, he is heartbroken and lost, until he finds a key his father left behind.

Determined to find the lock the key fits, Oskar travels across Manhattan asking everyone with the name 'Black' (which was written on the back of the envelope) to prolong the connection he has with his father.

From Oskar's perspective, the film is told through his eyes, his observations, his feelings and the character development is phenomenal. We are immediately gripped into this boy's life and whilst we may not understand why he does some of the things he does, we know his heart is pure.

The film does not shy aware from showing true emotion and gritty scenes which really expose the feelings of characters. The emotional scene between Oskar and his mother (Sandra Bullock) reveals the honesty of their relationship.

As Oskar's adventure continues, he meets the 'Renter', a man staying at his grandmother's house which he eventually discovers is his grandfather, who has never met his son Thomas. Oskar recruits his grandfather on his journey and the two share some very heartfelt moments, earning Max von Sydow his Oscar nomination.

At over two hours long, the film draws you in in wanting to find out what the key unlocks and if Oskar will relish in the relationships he still has. As the film reaches its climax, the film takes a drastic turn and though sad and emotionally powerful, the catharsis is brilliantly sweet, loving and even more overpowering. I loved the ending and it really shows the true meaning of love.

Tom Hanks- Thomas Schell
Sandra Bullock- Linda Schell
Thomas Horn- Oskar Schell

Also stars Max von Sydow (nominated for best supporting actor), Jeffrey Wright and Viola Davis.

The young Thomas Horn definitely showed his acting potential with a genuine and convincing performance as a boy with aspergers and I was utterly surprised he was not nominated for an Academy Award. Sandra Bullock also did not let the movie down with a powerful performance, despite her low screen time.

'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' is a brilliantly moving story of self discovery, love and letting go. With the wonderfully acted perspective of a nine year old with aspergers by Thomas Schell and a great supporting cast of Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks and Max von Sydow, the film's strengths lie in its characters and relationships. Though sad and emotional, the movie leaves you on a high note of unrequited love and acceptance.

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