Normally, I’m not a fan of Sandra Bullock. I can’t say I’ve even remotely enjoyed her in many of her previous films, and even the ones I did were at a push. I’m not even sure what it is about her that I can’t quite get to grips with either. She’s a good actress; it may just be the films she has picked to be part of in the past that I’m not a fan of.
That being said, when I had the opportunity of reviewing the Blu Ray edition of “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”, I was a little dubious. It had her in it. But then, it also had Tom Hanks, who I think could easily be placed in the top 10 best actors of all time.
Nominated for the Best Picture award at the Oscars, Extremely Loud… has received plenty of critical acclaim. Based on a novel written shortly after the 9/11 attacks, it focuses on a little lad, Oskar Schell. His father, played by Tom Hanks, died in the 9/11 devestation and was much adored. Oskar suffers from what is believed to be Asperger’s and with the help of his dad, has always shone and wants to find answers following his dad’s death.
After finding a key hidden in a vase in his father’s closet, Oskar is determined to find out what the key is for in a last ditch attempt to regain the closeness he had with his dad during their fun expeditions and also for way of closure. Along the way, he meets various other characters, each with their own stories, as he battles his issues in order to complete what he has set out to do. Credit where its due to Sandra Bullock – she was bloody good in this, playing the part of Oskar’s mother. Although she isn’t a “main” character, the pivotal storyline is really touching.
I have to say that the friendship between Oskar and a mute lodger, played by Max von Sydow, was a really interesting part of the film – it fills the story with a little humour but you do wonder whether there are unanswered questions between this mute guy and Oskar’s family. That’s one problem with this film, but I guess it adds to it; there are a lot of unanswered questions.
Thomas Horn, who played Oskar, was fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. Such great talent from such a young actor – he played the role perfectly – a lost boy in search of answers and grieving the loss of his best friend, his father.
I’m not going to lie. I cried. I have been known to cry at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Jeremy Kyle, so this alone isn’t a fact that will make you race out to watch this film. For someone who doesn’t really “do” heartfelt stories though, I enjoyed it very much. Very powerful. Just make sure you decide to watch it on a day where you don’t want lighthearted entertainment – that’s one thing this film ISN’T good at.
You can buy Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close now, for £15.99 on Triple Play.
Also in my little goodie box was a copy of The Blind Side – again, not normally something I would ordinarily watch, but James and I gave it a shot one evening and I was pleasantly surprised; particularly with Bullock’s acting prowess. No wonder she won an Oscar for it. Based on a true story, the film focuses on a homeless teen and a woman’s determination to settle him into “normal” life and to show his full potential as a sports star. It’s a really good film – especially if you’re up for an uplifting movie. It takes me a while to have one of those evenings, because I’m too into my horror and crime, but when the inclination arises, this film is perfect for it.
***We were given a copy of both the above titles for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. I really do cry at Jeremy Kyle. VERY occasionally.***