The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

    9/11 movie extremely selfish, incredibly unworthy of Oscars

    By Joshua Knopp/managing editor

    When the towers collapsed on Sept. 11, a young boy who lost his father in the attack spun wildly, not knowing what to make of the events. His gaze eventually settled on a camera filming him, and he screamed into it with all his might, “Give me an Oscar!”

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the story of that boy, Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn). Schell’s father, Thomas (Tom Hanks), a jeweler who went to the World Trade Center for a meeting on “The Worst Day.” A year after Thomas’ death, Oskar finds a key in a blue vase in his father’s closet. Oskar begins to search New York City for the lock the key fits. The film has been nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

    The base story is wonderful. Oskar Schell, who pretty clearly has Asperger’s Syndrome, has all sorts of effort poured into him as a character. This is Horn’s first film, and he performs admirably as a child who sees the world through irregular eyes. The portrayal of Oskar’s search as obsessive bordering on fanatical is a little intense, but it fits his character.

    A tagline for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close reads, “This isn’t a movie about 9/11. It’s a movie about every day after.”

    If it isn’t about 9/11, why does Thomas die in the attacks? In 2010, New York City was witness to 523 murders. If Thomas Schell were murdered by hoodlums instead of hijackers, the same plot could play out without the emotional and political charge of the attacks distracting the audience.

    Oskar and Linda Schell (Sandra Bullock) repeatedly relive their 9/11 experience, and it’s shocking and terrible and sad, and everyone remembers it. Most everyone reading this remembers 9/11. If people want to hear another’s 9/11 experience, they can ask the person next to them. Why care about the harrowing account of fictional characters when the harrowing account of a real person is a question away?

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is Oscar-bait. That’s all.

    The audience can see it when Oskar overcomes his phobias. They can hear it when he says he could be an Asperger’s child. They can smell it when his father is killed in an event all people take in their own emotional context.

    Many bad things can be said about this movie, but the most tactful is this: Why go see a movie aimed at Academy Award voters when plenty of movies are aimed at real people?

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