February 8, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 40°F


‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’: Adventure film unlocks tragedy

In the heart-wrenching film “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” Thomas Horn plays 9-year-old Oskar Schell, an amateur inventor, Francophile and pacifist devastated by the sudden loss of his father (Tom Hanks) during the Sept. 11 attacks. When Oskar discovers a key in his father’s closet, he is convinced it will unlock a token his father has left for him.
Directed by Stephen Daldry, the film recreates the disturbing debacle through the eyes of a child who suffers from social anxiety and emotional instability. With sudden outbursts and tantrums, Horn delivers a spectacular performance as a young boy attempting to deal with his anger and confusion. His exemplary acting shines through the screen when he scratches the painful scabs covering his body while incessantly listening to the six muffled messages his father left on the answering machine the morning of what Oskar dubs as the “worst day.”
For centering on such a touchy subject, the film does its best to reiterate the pain brought on by a worldwide tragedy. “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” tells the story of a boy who is desperate to find out why his father had to be one of the many deaths on the day of the attacks — a question that haunts the minds of many Americans who lost a loved one that day.