Movie Review: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

I’d like to start this post off with a little disclaimer:  I am in no way a professional movie critic, however, I am an avid movie-goer.  These are purely my personal opinions.

I went to see Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close earlier this week.  I went to the very first showing of the morning in hopes that if I cried like a baby, there wouldn’t be as many people to witness my extreme emotions.

I want to give you a little bit of my background going into the movie.  I have not read the book by Jonathan Safran Foer so I did not have any pre-conceived notions as to how this movie should go.  I am the mother of a child with autism (13) and I’m active in the on-line community. Because of this, I was very aware that many parents were upset by a review that came out about the movie and the main character who is said to “possibly” have Asperger’s Syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder).

Brief Synopsis:  Oskar Schell is an 11 year old boy whose father was killed in the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  Over a year after his father’s death he finds a key, hidden in a blue vase in his father’s closet.  This launches him into a remarkable search to find out what the key opens.

Overall, I really liked this movie.  There were times that I wondered where exactly Oskar’s search was going to lead and I was hoping that the movie would not end leaving me with the feeling “What in the heck was this movie about?”  As quickly as I thought that, the movie took a turn and all of my questions were answered.  I didn’t particularly like the way some of the 9/11 events were remembered, but I think that is a topic that will always evoke raw emotions from individuals who lived through those horrific events.

I was extremely impressed by the newcomer, Thomas Horn, who plays Oskar.  I watched his actions and mannerisms closely.  I’ve seen so many movies and TV shows where individuals with varying degrees of autism are portrayed and I’ve cringed at the actors/actresses attempts to capture the nuances associated with autism.  Watching Thomas Horn, I truly believed that he had Asperger’s. I saw so much of both of my girls’ actions and mannerisms in his.  Maybe it was because of this that I felt so “at home” in the movie.  Please realize, this is my personal opinion.  Another parent of an individual with autism could possibly hate Horn’s portrayal of an individual with Asperger’s. You might ask “Why is that?”  My answer is this: Although many people with autism share common characteristics and mannerisms, they are all so individually different.  You only have to spend 5 minutes on Twitter to see how passionate one parent of someone with autism can be about a particular issue and how the very next parent can be just as passionate on the extreme opposite side of the same issue.

I’m glad that I went to see the movie and plan on going back to see it with my husband.  I would love for other family and friends to see it to gain a deeper understanding of the profound sensory issues that both of my girls struggle with on a daily basis.

I will be posting a separate post about movie specifics and my feelings about Oskar’s mother who was portrayed by Sandra Bullock.  If you have not seen the movie, do NOT read that post.  I will mark it with *Spoiler Alert*.  These are things that I would NOT have wanted to know prior to seeing the movie, but would love to share those thoughts and feelings with those of you who have seen the movie.

Have you seen the movie?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Please leave a comment below.

Make it a great one!