Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Adaptation of novel about boy who lost his dad in 9/11 attack Discuss this article
It is, simply, the ‘worst day’ – that’s how 9/11 is referred to in Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2005 child’s-eye novel, ambitious if a touch forced. In being true to the intentionally naive material, filmmaker Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) has now created an earnest puddle of slop.
Fragile nine-year-old Oskar (Horn), bereaved after his dad’s death, is too quiveringly stunned to be a long-form surrogate for a viewer. You watch him roam through a shaken city and wish this brainy kid could enjoy a non-glazed moment or two.
That’s not to say the best scenes don’t work. Some geeky, relaxed moments featuring Tom Hanks as the doting father help you feel the toll taken on a sensitive relationship filled with microscopic inquiries. Alas, you also have to endure the sad sight of Oskar’s handmade scrapbook, in which a red string restores a falling man to the 106th floor. We might have all felt like lost children for a while, but 10 years later, the innocence is shameless.
Time Out Abu Dhabi,