Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Latest articles from "The Stranger":


ZERO MOTIVATION(December 17, 2014)

Writing About Shopping: Women in Clothes and A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy Defy Fashion Lit Stereotypes(December 17, 2014)

FOXCATCHER(December 17, 2014)

NEWS SHORTS(December 17, 2014)

Hoop Dreams Is a Ghost Story Set in a Vanished World(December 17, 2014)

Who Should Be Crowned Drun of the Year?(December 17, 2014)

Other interesting articles:

Review of Contemporary Fiction (April 1, 2011)

Return to Nature
Parks & Recreation (July 1, 2012)

AARP's Senior Moment
In These Times (February 1, 2011)

The Momentum of Doom
The Stranger (November 4, 2010)

Carillon Sky
Music Library Association. Notes (June 1, 2012)

Fun with Fairies: Representation of Gender Identity in La Cage aux folles and The Birdcage
Australian Journal of French Studies (May 1, 2012)

Haunting and magnificent
The Sondheim Review (April 1, 2012)

Publication: The Stranger
Author: Lannamann, Ned
Date published: January 25, 2012
Language: English
PMID: 59135
Journal code: STRR

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

dir. Stephen Daldry

Look, I know 9/11 was no picnic. I was there. It sucked. And in such a way that it makes the fact that I used the word "sucked" just now seem completely disrespectful. But surely the makers of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close could have devised something a little more interesting, more spirited, more fun than this wretched, moping movie. Directed by Stephen Daldry-perhaps the unfunniest director of all time-it's based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer, who playfully toyed with the format of the printed novel to neatly sidestep the maudlin elements of his story, in which a boy with Asperger's copes with the death of his father in the World Trade Center attacks.

But this movie has no glint, no spark, no sense of macabre humor. Instead, it's an unending assault on your tear ducts and your intelligence. Thomas Horn, an androgynous and creepily articulate 14-year-old who won Jeopardy! during Kids Week, plays 9-yearold Oskar with unsettling poise and diction. He's not acting, he's reciting, giving Extremely Loud the feeling of watching a school play none of your kids are in.

The movie follows Oskar around as he bothers total strangers about a mysterious key his father left behind. Tom Hanks pops up as the dead dad in what's barely a cameo, and Sandra Bullock weepily plays the widow/ mom in profoundly irritating fashion. (There is one patch of light in all this mushy crap: Max von Sydow is fantastic as the elderly, mute tenant of Oskar's grandmother, inviting light and humor into this dreary mess without uttering a word. It seems immediately obvious who his character really is, but to say anything more feels spoilery.) The rhythms and shorthands of the storytelling feel entirely wrong. Every moment is given profound, ponderous signifi cance, and by the end you'll be completely suffocated. NED LANNAMANN

Comment on these reviews at THESTRANGER.COM/FILM

The use of this website is subject to the following Terms of Use