Shalom Life | October 25, 2014

REVIEW: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, starring Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks, is "downright perfect"

By: Jake Horowitz

Published: January 23rd, 2012 in Culture » Film » Reviews

REVIEW: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, starring Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, and first-time actor Thomas Horn hit theatres in wide-release this past weekend.

Directed by Stephen Daldry and written by Eric Roth, the film is based on the 2005 novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer.

The film’s story of loss, framed by the death of one boy’s father in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre, serves as a perfect backdrop to the tale of grief, searching, and moving on that is so expertly conveyed in its two-hour running time. Tragedy, and the inability to understand that tragedy, is translated perfectly from page to screen, and the actors do a great job of getting the message across: loss is never easy.

Everything in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, from the directing to the acting to the technical aspects of the film, is downright perfect. Daldry pulls off the difficult task of balancing everything together to form a great film that doesn’t end up overly-sentimental. The score, composed by Alexandre Desplat, underscores the film subtly yet powerfully enough to drive every emotion home to the viewer. The cinematography is amongst the best in any recent film and not only looks great, but follows the journey and emotions of the protagonist, Oskar Schell, as they turn on a dime.

The acting, by Oscar winners Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock is some of the best work of their careers, as are the smaller roles played by John Goodman, Jeffrey Wright, and Viola Davis. Max von Sydow, in a role without a single word spoken, is sure to be nominated for an Oscar for his stellar performance as a mysterious stranger who helps Oskar on his search. With such strong subject material, everyone involved rises to the challenge of making a film that should stand the test of time and become a classic a few years down the line.

The main character, nine-year-old Oskar Schell, is the star of this film. He’s in every scene, and is the window into the themes and subtext explored. Neither Hanks, nor Bullock, nor 9/11, holds a candle to how important Oskar, and the actor playing him, is to the film. And that’s why Horn’s performance is key to everything that is experienced in the film. Daldry knew that when he was in the early stages of the film, the actor playing Oskar was everything, which is why he signed on contingent upon whether or not he found the right person for the role. After searching the country for the right person, he eventually found Horn, the Jeopardy Kids Week winner from 2010. Critics have said that Horn was robotic, annoying, and the worst part of the film. Although everyone is allowed his or her own opinion, Horn was only playing the character of Oskar as written in the book and as written in the script; and he was playing it without a single flaw. Academy Award chances of everyone and everything else aside, if Horn does not get at least a nomination for his role, it will be clear that Oscar voters do not recognize the best and the brightest of the year.

If you’re looking for a great movie, that seems to have gotten a bad wrap by most media outlets, give Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close a watch. Despite negativity from critics calling it “exploitative” and “Oscar bait,” it’s really just a solid, all-around great piece of filmmaking.

Who Was Sarah Michelle Gellar's Favorite On-Screen Kiss With? Who Was Sarah Michelle Gellar's Favorite On-Screen Kiss With? TrendingPaula Abdul Wants You To "Check Yourself" During Breast Cancer Awareness Month Paula Abdul Wants You To "Check Yourself" During Breast Cancer Awareness Month TrendingSmart People Listen to Bob Dylan, Dumb People Listen to Beyonce Smart People Listen to Bob Dylan, Dumb People Listen to Beyonce Trending
 

Seinfeld Finally Joins Facebook and Instagram [VIDEO]

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seinfeld Finally Joins Facebook and Instagram [VIDEO]

A hilarious video shows Michael Richards asking Seinfeld to take out Netflix and Hulu.

Read More

Seth Rogen and Megan Fox Join James Franco’s ‘Zeroville’

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seth Rogen and Megan Fox Join James Franco’s ‘Zeroville’

Rogen and Fox will be co-starring alongside Will Ferrell, Danny McBride and Dave Franco

Read More

Mila Kunis Dolls Are Coming To a Store Near You

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Mila Kunis Dolls Are Coming To a Store Near You

Adorable dolls featuring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum in 'Jupiter Ascending' are coming out in January

Read More

Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project

October 24, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project

Jews in 460 cities across the world to take part in the inspirational Jewish initiative, including Paula Abdul and Mayim Bialik

Read More

Wix Named 'Hottest Middle Eastern Startup'

October 24, 2014 | By Viva Sarah Press
Wix Named 'Hottest Middle Eastern Startup'

Inc. magazine credits Israeli DIY website creation platform with taking a complicated task and making it enjoyable

Read More

‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust

October 24, 2014 | By Jason Stack, JNS.org
‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust

The Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf-starring film essentially omits the brunt of the Holocaust from World War II

Read More

Israeli Company Shows that Energy Does in Fact Grow on Trees

October 24, 2014 | By NoCamels Team
Israeli Company Shows that Energy Does in Fact Grow on Trees

The eTree is a solar-powered urban habitat that is constructed from metal pipes and topped with solar panels

Read More

For the First Time Ever, Women of the Wall Hold Torah Reading at the Kotel

October 24, 2014 | By Kobi Nachshoni
For the First Time Ever, Women of the Wall Hold Torah Reading at the Kotel

Western Wall rabbi says "This will never happen again" after the group managed to smuggle a tiny scroll into the women's section of the Western Wall

Read More

More Headlines