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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (DVD)
Member Name: walsha11
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (DVD)
Advantages: cast, plot, faithful to book, beautifully shot, heartfelt, emotional
Disadvantages: expensive to buy as a new release (but well worth it)
Having read the book, with the same name, by Jonathan Safran Foer and fallen in love with every word he had written I could not wait to see the film when it came out. I rushed straight to the cinema when it came out and have since purchased it on DVD.
There is a strange sense of expectation and protectiveness if you have read a book and loved it and then know it is being made into a film. I wanted to preserve the brilliance of the book and not have it tainted by what could have potentially been a second rate film. However, what I saw on screen was so pure that I fell in love all over again. The film has been produced tentatively and sensitively, with total reverence for what is an incredible and moving book. The casting could not be more perfect and the way in which it has been shot is compelling to watch. I genuinely loved every second of this film.
The film, and the book, follow the story of Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) whose father died on September 11, 2001, in the World Trade Center. Oskar is one of the many grieving victims left behind in the wake of this senseless human tragedy and the pain he feels is so acutely expressed it is hard to watch.
The film follows Oskar's journey as he makes his way across New York looking for an explanation and a lock in which the key he found in his father's wardrobe must fit. He travels to meet every person with the last name Black, as this was written on the envelope in which he found the key. The film is then laced with flashbacks which portray the close and loving relationship Oskar had with his father, Thomas (Tom Hanks). The effect is heart breaking and completely moving. As Oskar meets more and more wonderful and interesting people he begins to let go of the grief he carries around, with the help of his mother (Sandra Bullock), who watches over him from afar.
I won't tell you too much of the plot line because there are many twists and turns that you need to experience for the very first time watching this. What I can say though is that the film keeps you guessing, just as the book does, right up to the very last scene. In fact the film so closely follows the events and the feel of the book that is feels like an utterly faithful interpretation of what is a spellbinding book.
The cast are also incredible and afford the film much of its success. Tom Hanks as Thomas, Oskar's father, is warm and loving and his compassion and care for his son tears your heart out of your chest. Sandra Bullock as Oskar's mother has an equally poignant role to play in this film. Her commitment to freeing Oskar of his grief and guilt is impressive and commendable. Bullock embodies the role perfectly and is a joy to watch.
Thomas Horn is simply incredible. The character of Oskar is so unique and distinctive in the novel that it seems hard to imagine anyone in the world existing who could play Oskar in a convincing and faithful way. But someone the film has managed to find that one individual. What makes Thomas even more incredible is that prior to this film he had never acted before. In fact the casting director for the film saw him on Jeopardy and got in contact to find out if he would be willing to audition. Considering that so much of the book is routed in chance moments and human experiences the way in which they found Thomas seems completely fitting with the tone of the novel. For a début role Thomas Horn's performance simply needs to be seen to be believed. His understanding of the character is so perfect and the physical nuances that he brings to the role construct Oskar in tangible and realistic way.
The DVD cost me roughly £12, which is a standard price for a new release. I could have waited a few months in which time the price would probably have dropped considerably but I couldn't stand not owning this film straight away.
This is an astonishingly moving and heartfelt film that explores the intensity and complexity of human loss. You must watch this and so fully comprehend the beauty of the film.
Summary: An incredibly produced and extremely moving film.