Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is ludicrous and dull, not an easy combination to achieve. The main narrative is daft -- having a 9/11 child trying to make a connection with a deceased parent is an intriguing theme and one with endless possibilities, but what the kid in this movie is up to is completely removed from any reasonable concept of reality. And his search is presented not with a whimsical or empathetic conveyance of a child's world view of attempting to cope with an overwhelming emotional -- life affecting, actually -- event but id handled in a dreary straight-forward manner, as if a child's world view/perception was in no way involved.
The film is way overwritten with the pretentious hack Eric Roth providing absurd dialogue and phony characterizations and situations. It doesn't help that there's a dreadful performance at the core of the film -- Thomas Horn's line readings seem literally like exactly that -- a kid reading lines, not expressing them. The character is an obnoxious oddball to begin with and Horn's acting makes him seem even more unappealing - said to say, it's hard to work up much empathy for the kid. Max von Sydow's Man of Silence remains a literary conceit, not a recognizable human, and it's not a very original or clever conceit, and John Goodman's presence is a distraction that serves no purpose. Sandra Bullock's character is strangely absent for much of the proceedings and her big moment towards the end makes no sense. There's also a major narrative goof involving Tom Hanks's phone calls from the Twin Towers, which diminishes the supposed Big Pay-Off. The end result of the boy's quest is shockingly anti-climactic and unsatisfying. The reason that the film didn't show up in critics awards and guild/Globe nominations isn't that not enough people saw it, it's that it's a lousy film. It's hard to believe that a film so manipulative can be so unaffecting.
Last edited by Damien
on Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell