'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 29, 2012
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In the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Americans were plagued with grief and that day has since been frequently revisited on movie screens across the country. However, Stephen Daldry's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" takes on a different perspective of the horrific events that occured that day.

The movie, which is based on Jonathan Safran Foer's 2005 novel, stars a young Oskar (Thomas Horn), whose seemingly perfect jeweler father (Tom Hanks) was killed in the World Trade Center attack. One year after "the worst day," as he refers to it, Oskar strikes up enough courage to enter his father's closet to look at his collectibles to reminisce. He accidentally knocks over a vase and finds a key inside. Inscribed on the envelope containing the key is the word "black."

Driven by the adventures and the unusually close bond that he and his father had shared, he sets out to find everybody in New York named "Black" in hopes of finding what the key unlocks.

Oskar, an opinionated, curious and possibly autistic kid, is clearly traumatized along with his mother Linda (a strikingly mature Sandra Bullock). His quirks as a curious adventurer are what make him funny and interesting. For example, bridges and public transportation make him "shaky." To overcome this, he runs across a bridge yelling "Fort Green!," while shaking his tambourine, which he brings with him to calm him down.

While trying to deal with her son's rage, Bullock seems to take a back seat in the plot. Throughout the first half of the movie she seems nonexistent. Nevertheless, her relationship with her son is clearly deteriorating after the attacks. During an argument, Oskar yells, "I wish it were you in that building!" To which she simply replies, "So do I." Their bond, however, clearly strengthens throughout the course of the movie as Bullock's character becomes more prominent.

While the plot does seem to drag on a bit, the new people Oskar meets along the way help distract from that and make the film much more enticing. However, there is one hole in the plot that is easy to detect: What is a nine year old boy doing roaming all across New York City without a parent?

Many critics disliked this movie and called it the "worst reviewed movie in 10 years," according to the Huffington Post. It has a 48 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In spite of this film being panned, it received two Oscar nominations. One for the highly regarded "Best Picture" and another for "Best Supporting Actor" (Max von Sydow). The latter is what doesn't make sense. Sydow's elderly character, known as "The Renter," gave this film the silent treatment. Literally. His character was traumatized in his early life and has not spoken since. Is that really worthy of an Academy Award?

This is not just another 9/11 film. People who believe that need to see this movie to change their perspective. Many words come to mind when describing this movie. Heartwarming. Funny. Inspiring. Outstanding, to name a few. With great acting, a great storyline and a perfect ending, this film is "Extremely Emotional and Incredibly Captivating."

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