From HE reader/journalist Gabe@ThePlaylist, posted earlier today: “I mostly liked Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and I’m not sure if I’m just touchy about 9/11, or that you genuinely have to be an asshole to HATE it. But it kinda gave me a headache, and the kid was unbearable. Still, except for me, not a dry eye in the house. I haven’t seen a movie work like that in awhile.
“It turned me around on a lot of things: (as) Favorite Stephen Daldry movie by far…though I am not a fan; (b) Favorite Sandra Bullock performance. Again, definitely not a fan; (c) Max Von Sydow‘s character feels gimmicky. Of COURSE he’ll get Oscar attention. Though I would throw it Bullock’s way, and I think Jeffrey Wright has a great scene near the end that straddles the line between ‘I am answering a lot of questions for myself right now’ and ‘I am touched by the context you’re bringing to this.’ Only great actors make those similar reactions into completely different attitudes; (d) Some of the mother/son stuff is TOUGH. I think there’s a lot of misplaced rage people have when they lose a loved one, and when it’s a hyperactive child, it’s tenfold. I was impressed how dark and affecting this was.
“I think, as far as Academy voting [is concerned], it works on every necessary level. Tugs appropriately at the heartstrings, has just enough edgy content, plays with colorful editing and ‘edgy’ unconventional storytelling, and grandma will love it.”