Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011) Review

Oskar a young boy trying to deal with his father’s death after he was in the World Trade Center on the worst day, September 11th. When he finds a key his father left this sends him on an adventure across New York trying to find out what it opens, and what is left behind.

Oskar has a very unique way of thinking about everything, or should that be over thinking everything? I guess it’s the latter really as he wants it to make sense why his father died in the act of terrorism. He cannot accept that it had no reason behind it all. So we head with him on the journey to discover the mystery behind a key which was in an envelope with the name Black on it. After he broke a vase one day which was in his fathers wardrobe.

His plan meant contacting every black in NYC and finding out if they knew his father and had any idea what the key would open. We see how much he is struggling to deal with his father’s death and he has secrets of events which occurred on what he refers to as the worst day. We see him crying, throwing tantrums and being horrible to his mother who is also grieving for the loss of her husband.

The journey is something similar to what he used to do with his father and we see some of this in flashback form of trying to find the sixth borough of New York. At times I really did find some of the scenes difficult to watch, as Oskar wasn’t likeable at all and some of the things he says to his mother are so hurtful that it really doesn’t help his case.

So knowing that this film and Max von Sydow’s performance were nominated at last years Oskar’s this had me curious to how I was going to find this film. I was actually surprised that von Sydow was nominated, he isn’t in very much and is a character who doesn’t ever speak. Using yes and no on each hand to answer questions and his book to write things down. It’s also obvious very quickly who he is as well and why his grandmother does not want him to meet this man as well.

It’s all very mysterious and tries very hard but just seemed to be lacking something for me which I cannot really explain as the film was very strange at times. I cannot really see how it got nominated for Best Picture last year. It seems as though the film was just trying to make people watching cry and feel emotional, therefore trying too hard in that sense. I didn’t feel much emotion at all when watching, which I think is my reason of not really liking anything about this film.

Is it the subject of 9/11 which just makes films about it being difficult to accept?

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