Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close ***+

February 23, 2012 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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For one reason or another, there have been few quality movies made about 9/11. Maybe it’s because the event is too recent and the wound too fresh…writes James Berardinelli.

Or perhaps it’s because filmmakers are keenly aware that a misstep could lead to charges of exploitation, as with the 2010 misfire, Remember Me. With Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, director Stephen Daldry has fashioned an emotionally powerful cinematic testimony about that horrific late summer day.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is not about 9/11 in a global sense. It does not care about terrorists or terrorism. It is unconcerned about the reactions of the country and the world. Instead, it’s a very simple, human story about a boy who loses his father. It illustrates the pain that is often forgotten in 9/11 discussions, when righteous indignation detracts from the wrenching pang experienced by families with empty seats at holiday dinner tables. Yet, even though 9/11 is a critical element of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, the movie is not about 9/11. In fact, the principal storyline takes place a year beyond that fateful date. Yes, this is a story about loss and coping with that loss, but it is even more a tale of fathers and sons, sons and fathers, the bonds that exist between them, and the bonds they wished existed between them.

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James Berardinelli is a Los Angeles based world-renowned movie reviewer. J-Wire is proud to be associated with him.

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