Ryan McNeil recently wrote a review of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and, anyone who has seen our banter on Twitter, can see that I don't fully condone his actions on watching the film. He always watches the Best Picture nominations, whilst I am well-aware that some films simply don't deserve their position and I will not pay admission to watch them. My example is The Blindside which I didn't see at the time and now no one cares about it. I didn't miss out at all. At any rate, his review pretty much clearly shows how I would probably feel but I noticed how the story, interestingly, involves a boy coincidentally called "Oskar" ... which got my feverish mind racing; could there indeed be a story about winning an Oscar buried deep down in the story about Oskar?
I've used Ryan's synopsis of the story (Check out his full review here) in italics, whilst my interpretation - about what the film is really about is in bold...
EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE is the story of Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn).
The Story is about a film-trying-to-get-an-Oscar ...
Oskar is very bright and quite inquisitive, however is also socially awkward.
It's a good film, but alas, it knows it is Oscar-Bait ...
For Oskar, the sun rises and sets on his father Thomas (Tom Hanks).
The film primarily relies on Tom Hanks to truly gain an Oscar - he has won so many, it's a sure thing.
As much as Oskar loves his mother Linda (Sandra Bullock), it’s his father that has a way of relating to him that both comforts him and pushes him.
We all know The Blindside wasn't great, so Sandra Bullock alone couldn't garner the film any success but she does add a weight of credability.
He encourages Oskar’s eccentricities, and yet challenges him to be brave and seek answers for bigger questions.
Tom Hanks will always guarantee a certain corner of the market - as strange as it is, people really do rate him as an actor. People watch Tom Hanks and they are challenged by him - "This is a really good film - I'm just not sure if Tom Hanks is what makes it good" some people think.
Sadly, Thomas is killed in The World Trade Center attack, leaving both Oskar and Linda adrift.
Unfortunately, the film includes a clearly Oscar-bait trait - a reference to 9/11 and the American Dream. Without Tom Hanks, Trying-to-get-an-Oscar and Sandra Bullock have very chance of truly being accepted in the Oscar Best-Picture Club
A year later, as Oskar is sifting through some of his father’s things, he comes upon a curious key. Without much indication what the key is for, Oskar sees it as one last challenge from his father.
But there is a slight chance that if a film is made, that is clearly begging for an Oscar, with a story so steeped in "heavy-handed, muddy, melodrama" (Thanks Ryan), then maybe - just maybe - the short cameo by Tom Hanks in the first act may be worth the money they paid him.
As he inspects the envelope the key is contained in, he notices the name “Black” written on it. He realizes that someone named “Black” must have once owned the key – and possibly met his father.
If there is any way to squeeze in a race-issue, then maybe it is possible that the Oscar is guaranteed. For gods sake, despite how bad Driving Miss Daisy is, it won Best Picture! If that can win Best Picture, then surely Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has a shot ...
I'm sure someone is having a joke here... even the poster is Oskar looking shocked that it is so friggin obvious!