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Well, as with anything, if you want to believe you can find reasons to.


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 
(2011) 

Maybe this is a fantastic book lousily adapted. I liked the film version of Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated, so it's entirely possible. On the other hand, if there's any of the wallowing in 9/11 as tragedy-of-a-generation-we-can-all-share type of cheap heartstring-tugging that's to be found here I should probably give it a miss.

The annoying kid at the centre of the film may indeed be an authentic depiction of an Asperger’s case; that doesn't mean you want to spend 2+ hours in his company. Or that an authentically Aspergic child has much place in such a contrived construct as this, where New York drips with benign artifice. Thomas Horn's performance has been praised, but I found him playing the part in a very studied way; this is especially problematic when he's giving it the raw emotion. Fair play, he's just a kid and learning all those lines is impressive enough but I came away thinking he was a precocious brat playing for depth.

Stephen Daldrey's approach is so cloyingly literal that it's left to Horn's incessant voice-over to do the work, and he isn't up to it. Elsewhere Sandy Buttocks is superb, underplaying where it is needed and only striking out where the script lets her down. Max Von Sydow just has to show up, Tom Hanks is annoyingly exuberant whenever he's onscreen, so it's a mercy he was consumed within whichever tower it was. On the plus side, this will hopefully will mean an absence of 9/11 as Oscar-bait for a few years. Also, it has to be asked (although I barely care); if the kid is so over-focused how come he neglected to turn over the piece of paper for months and months and months?

*1/2

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