Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Eleven-year-old Oskar Schell is an exceptional child: amateur inventor, Francophile, pacifist. And after finding a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, he embarks on an exceptional journey—an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. As Oskar roams the city, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity, who are all survivors in their own ways. Ultimately, Oskar's journey ends where it began, but with the solace of that most human experience: love. 1.8 out of 5 based on 19 reviews
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Omniscore:

Certificate 12A
Genre Drama
Director Stephen Daldry
Cast Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn, Max von Sydow, James Gandolfini Tom Hanks
Studio Warner Bros UK
Release Date February 2012
Running Time 129 mins
 

Eleven-year-old Oskar Schell is an exceptional child: amateur inventor, Francophile, pacifist. And after finding a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, he embarks on an exceptional journey—an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. As Oskar roams the city, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity, who are all survivors in their own ways. Ultimately, Oskar's journey ends where it began, but with the solace of that most human experience: love.

Reviews

The Los Angeles Times

Betsy Sharkey

Though there are many themes coursing through this movie, its primary concern is how anyone copes with a loss like this one. The filmmakers dive into the deep end as soon as we've gotten to know the boy who becomes the totem for our collective pain.

23/12/2011

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The New York Times

Monohla Dargis

In truth, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” isn’t about Sept. 11. It’s about the impulse to drain that day of its specificity and turn it into yet another wellspring of generic emotions ... and tries to make us feel good, even virtuous, simply about feeling. And, yes, you may cry, but when tears are milked as they are here, the truer response should be rage.

22/12/2011

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Time Magazine

Mary Pols

Purely a question of taste — what makes one person squeamish reduces another to sobs. In some cases, it can do both. I resented the neatness of the narrative, its habit of showing off its own hospital corners as it moved forward. But Horn breaks through the movie’s manipulative scrim simply with the sheer force of his emotions. Even when he’s talking extremely loudly and incredibly quickly, Oskar remains shatteringly articulate, and his pain rings as clear as a bell.

21/12/2011

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Total Film

Kate Stables

A tricky book laden with kudos, a kid as protagonis and an oh-so-sensitive subject matter? A bit of a tall order. Yet director Stephen Daldry has crafted an adroitly involving, emotionally intense experience.

23/01/2012

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The New Yorker

David Denby

What Foer was getting at in his novel, I think, was the pathos of over-cerebration, the endless, self-feeding excitement of a terrific mind that can’t stop spinning. Much of what Oskar says in the book is amusingly beside the point. Onscreen, however, the sound of a hyper-articulate boy talking semi-nonsense becomes very hard to take ... photographic and psychological realism destroy Oskar as a character.

18/01/2012

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Scotland on Sunday

Siobhan Synnot

Even its failure lacks distinction. It’s just a well-intentioned, mediocre film: extremely self-important and incredibly tiresome.

12/02/2012

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Time Out

Ben Walters

There’s some interesting tension here between the verbal and the audiovisual – the limits and necessity of speech, the vital clamour of the rest. But [the film] ultimately offers a cutesy fantasy of New York and a platitudinous account of trauma and bereavement.

14/02/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

In the end this dissection of a national and personal trauma is peculiarly simplified, reduced to the fact that Oskar thinks he bears the burden of the sole knowledge of his father’s final answering machine messages as the towers disintegrated in flames. These are played out like slow water torture in the film, hoping to elicit mass weeping. But for some reason the story is unmoving, as though it were sponsored for profit by Kleenex.

17/02/2012

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

Daldry has approached his subject matter the wrong way around — he’s made the grief and the sadness of his subject extremely loud and too incredibly close to watch. With emotionally charged material like this, you have to pull back and make it quiet and incredibly distant to achieve maximum impact.

19/02/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

A hollow, calculated, manipulative film. It uses the events of 9/11 not as a narrative armature on which to build a structure of ideas relating to an important juncture in modern politics and culture, but as a trapeze on which to perform pleasing emotional displays.

19/02/2012

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Empire Magazine

Angie Errigo

It seems incredible that a child with deeply apparent pre-9/11 problems, whose post-9/11 distress is exacerbated by answering-machine messages from dad that Oskar guiltily replays ... is not seeing a therapist or grief counsellor. Okay, it’s a parable, but if the defining event of the story is one so traumatic — and one multitudes watching will think of as their story, too — some degree of credibility would be nice.

13/02/2012

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The Evening Standard

David Sexton

We hate poetry that has a palpable design on us, Keats said. Actually, we hate everything with an obvious design on us - and right from the start you can't miss how intent this film is on working you over emotionally. The situation is wrenching in too many ways at once. You sit there, first cringing, then fighting back, out of primitive self-respect.

17/02/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

There is just one moment here that resembles real life: when Oskar angrily turns on his mother and tells her he wishes it was her, and not his dad, who was killed on "the worst day". That moment of pain is hurriedly smoothed away, but it is a flash of something that an actual human being might say to another, and very different from anything else in this intensely self-conscious movie that contrives to make the human cost and human meaning of 9/11 distant and faint.

16/02/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

There are some in Hollywood who torment us with their idea of comedy (Adam Sandler), and some who do so with fantasy (M Night Shyamalan). The director Stephen Daldry has here devised a two-pronged instrument of torture, one of tragedy, one of whimsy, and he pokes us with one or the other for a merciless two hours.

17/02/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Jonathan Romney

Hanks is as jovially tender a screen Everydad as you could ever wish to punch. But you won't really begin gagging until the finale, when Mom shows that there's no love like a mother's love, no matter how contrived a plot must be to prove it. This is a horrible folly of a film – not offensive particularly, just extravagantly inadequate to its subject.

19/02/2012

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

Designed to provoke maximum tear welling, the effect is more like the photo of the crying elephant that Oskar at one point explains must have been manipulated using Photoshop: false and cheap.

16/02/2012

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

Thirteen years ago, Stephen Daldry brought us one of the most sympathetic child-heroes ever in Billy Elliot. Now, he brings us one of the most obnoxious. Phoney, contrived and trivialising, this movie is a lot more interested in Oscars than Oskar. If you haven’t sensed by now, I hated it.

17/02/2012

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The New Statesman

Ryan Gilbey

What renders the movie catastrophic rather than merely mediocre is that it has been made in such bad faith. Any director who could drench a whole film in Alexandre Desplat's sickly, manipulative score must trust his material even less than he trusts his audience. If Daldry were concerned that the story of a boy left fatherless after 9/11 might not be sufficiently poignant, why didn't he saddle Oskar with an orphaned puppy or a terminal disease just to be on the safe side?

18/02/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

You rather end up wishing Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close would just pipe down and back off.

16/02/2012

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