Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: The Movie (2011)

After having read the book last year, I simply had to see the movie too. I have never been looking forward so much to seeing a movie as this one. The book moved me and touched me. I just wanted and needed to relive this experience. Some people might think that such high expectations like these are prone to be let down, but the opposite was true. Last weekend, when the movie was finally released in the Netherlands, I hurried to the movie theatre to watch it, Kleenex tissues in hand.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

11-year-old Oskar and his father

When looking at reviews of other people and the rating on IMDb, I get a defensive feeling rising up in me. Of course everyone has a different taste, but how, simply how, can you not like this movie? Maybe it’s because of my previous experience with the book that I more easily projected this love to the screen version as well, but still. I feel that some people just don’t understand and are, therefore, not able to appreciate the movie in its full jest. A good example is a review I found on youtube. One of the men says that Oskar is just an “asshole”, because Oskar explains that he confusingly tested negative for Asperger syndrom and, therefore, does not have an explanation for his strange behavior…

Deep, deep sigh…

The story deals with the 11-year-old boy Oskar’s journey through his grieving process after losing his father. One reviewer on IMDb was of the opinion that everyone who has lost a parent will definitely love this movie. I think, however, that everyone who has ever lost anyone close will be able to, maybe not relate, but definitely understand the movie.

Personally I feel this movie beautifully portrays the boy’s grief in a metaphorical way. Oskar is of course different in the way that he has some sort of autistic disorder. He proved negative on an Asperger’s test, but it is clear that he is not a regular 11-year old. However, I think we have to keep in mind that this is not only the grief of a boy with an autistic disorder; this grief is universal.

And this is all brought to the screen and brought to us by 14-year-old Thomas Horn. His performance in this movie is amazing! I think it is incredible how this 14-year-old has enacted the emotions throughout the movie, both the sad and the happy. All of this without any previous acting experience. If you want to know more about Thomas Horn read this article that was published on the website of the San Francisco Chronicle. It tells about his preparations for the movie and his experience of it. It also contains a lot of quotes that brought a smile on my face and that made me admire this boy even more.

“I also toured the site where the twin towers had been and spoke with people who lost loved ones that day. It was really sad to hear what they had gone through, but in a way it was also happy because you could see that they had found a way to go on living, and that’s Oskar’s journey, too.”

Ending this blog post, I want to share the following movie clip with you: an interview with Thomas, showing what a little adult this boy is.

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