"Miraculously Overcoming Grief"
What You Need To Know:
EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE is a very powerful movie. It is pro-forgiveness, pro-family, pro-faith, and profound. It deals with a very painful subject in a brilliant way. The acting and directing are top notch. The only negatives are that Oskar makes up his own curse words and lies, but eventually asks for forgiveness. Overall, however, EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE is a stirring, profound, remarkable, uplifting movie with a lot of heart.
(CCC, BBB, H, L, V, M) Very strong Christian, moral worldview with a young boy miraculously finding the object of a missing key with positive references to Jesus, as well as one reference to Steven Hawking’s humanist book on the universe, and memories of the Holocaust and its influence on the young protagonist’s family; six light fudged obscenities such as children make to fudge words and two exclamatory Oh Gods; documentary footage of 911 and dreamlike images of father falling from one of the towers and boy has a lot of fears; no sex; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking or drugs; and, boy counts number of times he lies but he finally apologizes, lying is boy’s way of denying father’s death and trying to cope with the pain of that loss.
EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE is one of the best movies ever. Extremely well crafted, it hits all the emotional notes.
Nine-year-old Oskar and his dad, Thomas Schell, are extremely close. Oskar has problems socializing and has been tested for Asberger’s Syndrome, but the results were inconclusive. His dad is trying to bring Oskar out of his shell by having him search for a fictional missing New York City borough, the sixth borough. To do so, Oskar has to talk to people he would normally avoid and go to places he wouldn’t normally go. Like many children with Asberger’s Syndrome, Oskar is very brilliant in some unique ways.
On “the worst day,” as Oskar calls 9/11, he’s sent home early from school and hears some messages from his father, who’s in a meeting in one of the two Word Trade Center towers on one of the top floors. Oskar can’t bring himself to pick up the phone when the sixth call comes. It’s clear from this last message that his father thinks Oskar is there and just wants to tell him how much he loves him.
Oskar replaces the message machine and hides it in the closet so his mother doesn’t know about the messages. He starts to lie, because he figures he’s done something very wrong. He gets angry with his mother, and he finds a key in a manila envelope with the name Black on it. Oskar thinks the key is a clue his father left for him and will bring his father back, or at least explain everything.
Oskar decides to search for everybody in New York with the name Black to find out what the key unlocks. In the process, Oskar finds out the stories of many people, and he comforts many people who try to comfort him. He also finds his missing grandfather, who comes back to visit Oskar’s grandmother. His grandfather had abandoned his family because of the trauma he experienced in the bombing of Dresden in World War II. His grandfather refuses to talk and just writes notes.
One of the people Oskar visits is holding a church service in their home. They pray for Oskar in the name of Jesus. Oskar says he doesn’t believe, but Mrs. Black tells him, if he finds the answer to the key, it’s a miracle. The rest of the movie fulfills her prophecy.
EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE is a very powerful movie. It is pro-forgiveness, pro-family, pro-faith, and profound. It deals with a very painful subject in a brilliant way. This is one of those rare movies where everything about the movie is well crafted.
Thomas Horn, who plays the little boy, is brilliant. Tom Hanks, Max von Sydow, and Sandra Bullock give incredible performances. The director, Stephen Daldry, has done something really good in a year with some very good movies.
The only negatives are that Oskar lies but eventually asks for forgiveness. Also, Oskar uses some words that sound like obscenities in a way that avoid the obscenity itself, just the way children used to do 50 years ago when cursing wasn’t the norm, but was forbidden.
Overall, however, EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE is a stirring, profound, remarkable movie with a lot of heart.
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