Thursday, December 22, 2011

Movies: Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close

9.11. has been burned onto the memories of many people, even outside the U.S. I still remember how shocked I was while watching the disaster from Bonn/Germany via CNN.

The movie "Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close", directed by Stephen Daldry, deals with this topic in a special way ( The flick is based on the homonymous novel by Jonathan Safran Foer and tells the drama from the point of view of a boy who is  around 10 years old, and lost his father in the twin towers. The flick shows how the kid tries to handle his trauma one year after that event.

The star of the movie is Thomas Horn, who played the kid. He is a real discovery. Wikipedia reports that the boy had no prior acting experience (wikipedia). He was chosen by the producer after he had won over $30,000 at age 12 during the 2010 Jeopardy! Kids Week, writes Wikipedia. Horn naturally fits to the role as a very smart and educated kid. The character is exceptionally systematic and scientific as taught by his late father.

I also was impressed by the acting of Tom Hanks, who played the father in the numerous flashbacks caused by the memory of the boy. I am usually not a fan of Hanks. I regarded him as a bore and a reason to shun a movie. But in this role the actor did a great job as the father of a very gifted child, whom he treated as a smart being on an equal footing.

The rest of cast also was convincing. Sandra Bullock played a supportive and compassionate mother.
Max von Syndow, who acted as a kind of assistant during the quest of the boy, displayed again his grandeza. The 1929 born Swede actor is one of the people who legitimate the cliché that getting older means getting better like Cognac. I liked also John Goodman who had a somewhat funny role  as the doorman at the boy´s home.

The movie got part of its strength from the editing which structured the flick in an appealing way, sometimes by speeding up and slowing down. Some scenes were quiet and calm, others instead accelerated into staccati to create some tension in the otherwise calm plot. The music was decent and fitted well to plot and sentiment.

"Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close" was better than expected. It didn´t show the kitsch I feared from a Hollywood product with big brand names like Hanks & Bullock. Instead it delivered an interesting exposition.

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