Based on the 2005 novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” tells the story of precocious 9-year-old Oskar Schell. It’s no spoiler to tell you Oskar’s father (Hanks) dies in the 9/11 attacks, as the novel picks up two years after the tragic events. But this isn’t a 9/11 story so much as a journey of recovery. When Oskar stumbles upon a mysterious key left behind by his father, it incites a city-wide scavenger hunt of sorts to find the key’s lock. And along the way, Oskar meets a cast of characters carrying their own stories of loss and overcoming.
Directed by Stephen Daldry, who brought us the feel-good “Billy Elliot” starring Jamie Bell, Daldry has once again discovered a burgeoning young talent in newcomer Thomas Horn. With his wide-eyed wonderment and earnest affect, it’s clear from this tiny two-minute glimpse that Horn will inspire plenty of eyeball-dabbing throughout the film. As will Hanks, whose portrayal of Oskar’s father is warm and endearing—everything a beloved dad should be.
Co-starring Viola Davis, John Goodman and James Gandolfini, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” opens in limited release Christmas Day, going wide January 20.
Have you read “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”?