Watch: Max Von Sydow interviewed
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” tells the story of a young boy’s heartbreaking search for meaning following the agonizing loss of his father in the aftermath of 9/11. Eleven-year-old Oskar, sensitive, exceptional in intellect, and extraordinarily gifted, sets out to uncover the mystery behind a key that his father has left in an envelope marked “Black.” Convinced that it holds a secret meaning just for him, he combs New York City in the hope of making sense of his father’s tragic death. The age-old search for love, solace, and meaning are themes that will resonate with older audiences.
I’m particularly partial to Jonathan Safran Foer’s original book, whose gentle scratching of New York’s wounds through the eyes of a boy caught my heart off guard. Caught in little Oskar’s imaginings, he wrote this:
“What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboarded down the street at night you could hear everyone’s heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone’s hearts would start to beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don’t really want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn’t have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war.”
Did you watch? Did you read the book? How do you feel about its treatment of 9/11?