Friday, January 20, 2012
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
When you see as many movies as I do you often question why you do it. Most movies are just ok. (If you regularly read my blog you know I don't give out A's very often.) But a few times a year I get reminded exactly why I see so many movies, and exactly why I prefer to see them without knowing anything about them. This was one of those times and this is easily one of the best films of 2011.
I don't want to say much about the film because I believe it's meant to be discovered as it unveils itself. But I will say it packs an emotional wallop. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. It has a great supporting cast of very recognizable names like Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock and features a great understated performance by veteran actor Max von Sydow. But it's the lead actor, a 13 year old boy named Thomas Horn, who deserves the majority of the credit. Horn, a previous Jeopardy winner, had no acting credits prior to the film, but his performance is truly amazing and one of the best of the year. He already received the Best Young Actor award at the Critics Choice Movie Awards, and rightly so. And since all the performances and the entire tone of the film is so perfect I can't leave out director Stephen Daldry. Daldry's resume includes 'Billy Elliot', 'The Hours', and 'The Reader', and he has proven himself a force in Hollywood to be reckoned with.
Unlike the overrated 'Hugo', which is also about a boy trying to unravel a mystery, this one pulls you in completely from start to finish. So do yourself a favor. Don't read about it. Don't watch the trailers. Just go see it. And bring tissues.