Redbox texted me a free movie code, and since I thought condensing the writing center down to 9 boxes that now live in my office closet was a reasonable amount of work done for the day, I decided to take Redbox up on the offer. I wanted the new Sherlock Holmes movie – so bad, in fact, the I visited two Redboxes in search of it. But, I gave up after two tries and decided to get Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close since by the time I made my second attempt Deogi was in the car, and every additional stop would have given him opportunity to slather more slobber all over the car.
I read the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close so many years ago that I can’t even remember for sure whether I read it or listened to the audiobook. I don’t remember my exact reaction to the book except for remembering it as melancholy and intriguing. The fact that I do remember the book with any type of fondness indicates it had to be at least decent since I don’t remember every book I read. Given my foggy recollection of the book, my blog followers need to take what I’m about to say with a grain of salt, but if you know me, you’ll know how powerful I think the movie was when I do say it: this movie might be better than the book.
I don’t want to ruin the story because you will watch this movie, but to put it into a nutshell, the movie follows a young boy who lost his father in 9/11 as Oscar, a young boy, seeks closure and tries to find meaning in what happened, and as he sheds himself of his own secrets that he’s bottled up about that day. Oscar has many Aspberger-type tendencies, which give the story an analytical lens with plenty of opportunities for plot complexity. And, the acting was stellar. Oscar and his dad (Tom Hanks) only get to interact in the first 15 minutes or so of the movie, and that was enough to make my heart ache for this kid through the whole movie. And, if you’re a fan of Hope Floats, you’ll like how Sandra Bullock pulls off the role of grieving mother again…except this movie has more meat to the story because it’s not a romance movie.
I have to warn you though that I’m typing right now with itchy eyes and a slight headache because I exaggerate not when I say that I cried at least six times during the movie. I’m almost positive that I started crying more than that, but I lost count after six. The dinner napkin balled up in my hand wasn’t doing any good by the end of the movie because there wasn’t a dry spot on it. The ending is satisfyingly, beautiful way, powerful in its encapsulation of life — hurt and healing existing in tandem. Healing comes after we wade through hurt, and we’re never the same for it. We gain; we lose, and sometimes what’s gain and what’s loss is a mystery we can’t untangle.