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9/11! U2! Tom Hanks! Sandra Bullock! It's The Trailer For ‘Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close'

by Kevin Jagernauth
September 29, 2011 2:19 AM
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Geez, can you tell this one is looking for Oscars? The first trailer for “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” has arrived and before we're even halfway through, we get an infamous image of the Twin Towers on the morning of 9/11 and U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name." Did the person cutting this have no shame?

But here's the thing: take away the cloying reach for the heartstrings and Stephen Daldry's upcoming film actually looks like it could be a very warm and touching portrait of New York City and one boy trying to find meaning as the city and his family try to heal. Based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer, the story focuses on Oskar Schell (newcomer Thomas Horn), a nine-year-old boy from Manhattan whose father died on 9/11. Two years later, the boy discovers a key belonging to his father, which sends him on a search through the city, believing it will lead to a final message from his deceased parent. The cast on this one is first rate with Tom Hanks playing the father of the kid, with Sandra Bullock as his mother and John Goodman, Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright, Max Von Sydow and James Gandolfini rounding out the cast. If there is anything we're uncertain about just yet, it's the youngster Horn, but again, it's hard to tell if his performance is just thrown out of whack by the syrupy trailer.

So, is this an Oscar contender? You better believe. The last three Daldry films have amassed 17 Oscar nominations, including Best Director each time, with two Best Actress wins. So yeah, if this delivers on even half of its promise, it's going to be a major horse in the race. "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" lands on Christmas Day. Watch the trailer below or in HD at Apple.

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  • Fred | September 30, 2011 5:20 AMReply

    "take away the cloying reach for the heartstrings"
    and the end credits will be rolling. The idea of Forrest Gump, The Blind Side and The Reader being put into a blender is not a pretty one and I continue to be surprised at the lack of ever-ready snark for this one around here.

  • scribe | September 30, 2011 4:06 AMReply

    This looks awesome, I don't care how sappy this trailer is.

  • LA2000 | September 30, 2011 1:21 AMReply

    1) If the kid doesn't work, the film won't work because the kid is in 99% of the scenes. And this trailer has me a little worried about the kid. Kudos to Daldry for going with a newbie unknown, but its a risky move considering the number of scenes and the idiosyncratic nature of the character. I am not yet convinced he has pulled it off. If that kid is the least bit irritating, the film will be unbearably precocious. And if he's flat, the whole character will feel artificial. And the role is the center of the picture so you can't cut around him.

    2) Given how restrained Bullock and Hanks look, I am hoping that the breathlessly manipulative tone of the trailer is more a product of deep insecurity run amok in the marketing department and not a reflection of the actual picture. The script has a very Eric Roth "Gump-ishness" about it, but the trailer looks straight up "Blind Side" cheesey.

  • Nik Grape | September 29, 2011 12:03 PMReply

    What the hell is the great Max von Sydow doing in this garbage?

  • PRESIDENT MAO | September 29, 2011 10:07 AMReply


  • cirkusfolk | September 29, 2011 4:23 AMReply

    I guess I'm in the minority because judging from this trailer, I don't think the kid has what it takes to pull off being the lead. But if anyone can make Oscars come to him it's Daldry. He's been nominated for every film he's done.

  • Paul | September 29, 2011 4:15 AMReply

    I was about to write this movie off because off how sugary the trailer was....

    but then Max Von Sydow showed up & now I know I'll have to see it. Why Sydow isn't in Dragon Tattoo in Christopher Plummer's role is beyond me though.

  • brett | September 29, 2011 4:14 AMReply

    (while they rolled the names of all the people who died)

  • brett | September 29, 2011 4:13 AMReply

    U2 sang this song at the Super Bowl a few months after 9/11...wonder if they made the connection?

  • JP | September 29, 2011 3:53 AMReply

    Agreed, I think it's that Horn looks like a character from The Polar Express.

  • StephenM | September 29, 2011 3:30 AMReply

    Hmmm. Yeah, trailer is syrupy as can be. Where the Streets Have No Name is one of my favorite songs, but somehow using it in a trailer makes it sound incredibly trite and manipulative.

    I dunno, the movie could still be good though. The trailer gives lots of hints of decent-to-good moments, and as long as they're not all covered up by sappy music they might actually work well.

    But something about that poster is incredibly freaky. Anybody else with me on this?

  • op | September 29, 2011 2:43 AMReply

    You're right it looks mawkish, syrupy. Thomas Horn looks fine though.

  • Mike | September 29, 2011 2:40 AMReply

    Yeah, U2's Super Bowl tribute was the first thing I thought of with Streets being in this trailer.

    A few thoughts, while the book's style was rather gimmicky and it's strange to think about the journey this kid goes on, it never came off as heightened reality, which for some reason this did, I wouldn't say 'syrupy', I think that had a lot to with the selection/placement of dialog in the trailer, but something just doesn't feel real here.

    That said, in spite of that heightened feeling, and their reputations recently/ever Hanks and Bullock look surprisingly restrained.

    While I don't think it'll be garbage, I do think this is what Von Sydow was shooting when he had to turn down the patriarch role in the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo which he was perfect for from the moment the author wrote the novel. Not that Christopher Plummer will be bad, but it would have been great to have Sweden's most revered actor instead.

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