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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The clueless review.

Directed by: Stephen Daldry

Written by: Eric Roth, Jonathan Safran Foer (novel)

What would you do if your father died in 9/11 leaving you with clues as a 9-year-old boy?

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a 2011 drama based on a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer concerning Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn), a 9-year-old boy wise beyond his age which is topped by his curiosity and downplayed by his lack of courage who is struck by the loss of his Adventurous and beloved father Thomas Schell (Tom Hanks) who was in one of the towers on 9/11. A loss which drives  the boy to find his father’s last clue, a key whom he accidentally discovered with the name “black” written as only lead. Let me just start of by saying how ridiculously long this title is. It’s more of a drag then the slow-paced scenes in this 2 hours long movie. Name it Extremely Close already…

About Thomas Schell

Yes, the well-played roll by Tom Hanks (who I enjoyed seeing in a movie again after his impeccable role in The Green Mile, that man is a natural actor. His presence alone fills the scene.) deserves some attention in this movie. Although it’s a short role it’s still an important one. Thomas Schell, the man who aspire his son to be wise, brave and adventurous by sending the latter on various treasurer hunts which are mainly old objects to find ‘clues’ about the 6th borough (there are only 5 boroughs in New York, just thought you should know…). As a true father Figure to Oskar, he appears to be the guide of the beginning of this movie leaving the mother (Sandra Bullock) at a distant, almost of screen.

The loss of Thomas leaves a huge gap in the Schell household that is painfully portrayed throughout the movie. They tried tough, but not hard enough. The heartbreaking (which aren’t heartbreaking at all) conversation between mother and son failed to justify the situation , they mourned because of 9/11 yet the pain of the accident was cast away to make place for Oskar’s worries, unanswered questions and dilemma’s. At times I even wondered when it would end. I thanked the lord every time those gruesome scenes ended.

The impact of Thomas Schell’s role in the family was set up to be the beginning of a change which generated a great amount of excitement combined with sentimental expressions. Yet at times it felt empty and unsatisfying as the awkward conversations and odd phobias started to manifest itself as he wandered New York, a constant flow of Ups and Downs which weakened viewer captivity for 2 long hours. The first 50 minutes felt like a dry appetizer of what to come. They could have spared 20 to 30 minutes if they took the time to correct the screenplay.

The renter portrayed by Max von Sydow.

As you get to know this Antagonist/narrator you easily forget that he is 9-year-old making it very  stupefying when you find out he is afraid of public transportation and long bridges, it takes some time before it hits you that he is z mere kid looking for answers to reconnect with his deceased father. The journey  becomes an adventure and the adventure, an obsession while you are dragged from scene to scene until the adventure resumes, while a new protagonist tags along. ‘the renter’, an old man who rents a room at his Grand-Mothers apartment. He does not talk yet he maintains a steady conversation using a notebook and both his hand (written ‘no’ on right hand and ‘yes’ on the left one, it feels pretty awkward). It is hinted that he is not American, but German like Oskar’s Grandmother. But this man became a great protagonist as the story evolved. I’m not going to lie about this one, the way they got to know each other was a bit over the edge.

The scenes that nestled between the adventures and few arguments where weak and puzzling. But the ending… was AMAZING !One that almost made up for the boring moments. It’s a shame that they had to sacrifice that much time for 20 minutes of joy and closure, if only the whole story was as direct and captivating as those last precious moments. As the movie ended i had a hard time recalling the moments that came before the ending, which is kind of sad from a viewer’s perspective.


A movie about 9/11…a movie struck by what happened on 9/11 that lacked the emotional impact that it’s predecessors had. A great plot that begged for better care, which was eventually denied from it. They wasted some of their best element to form a great (and I do mean GREAT) ending, leaving the rest of the movie envious of the ending’s rich content. I advice you rent this movie, it’s still fun but not worth full price.


2 comments on “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The clueless review.

  1. stardust979
    March 4, 2012

    Hi I saw the trailer for this film but did not watch as I felt it was somewhat not as interesting as the others. I hope to watch to give it fairer judgement though!

    • Osaru-yo
      March 4, 2012

      It’s your right to do so. The overall premise of this movie is great but the execution was lacking (Except for the impeccable ending). If you do watch it (which I do recommend) you’ll better brace yourself for the few -but not that few- dull scenes .

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