Spoiler Alert: There may be minor spoilers in this review, but only if you've never watched the trailers or read the synopsis before.
Mr. Lock and I went to see Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close last weekend. It's an Academy Award nominee, and I do like to see a few of the nominated films so that watching the Oscars is more meaningful.
I read mixed reviews about this movie before seeing it. There were complaints about the main character, the child who most likely has Asperger's or is on the Autism Spectrum, though in the film he says that "tests were inconclusive". The complaints I read were that he was too "over the top". Personally, I disagree. He didn't annoy me, and frankly, I thought he played quirky-potentially-Asperger's very well.
This movie was a tear-jerker. It had me crying multiple times. You could feel the pain the child was going through, and understand the frustrations he had. It kept building on moments and flashbacks of The Worst Day, as he calls it, so that throughout the film you see and hear more and more details from their experience of September 11th, and how the child is coping a year later. You get a good sense of his family dynamic and how the child is trying to live with a change in that dynamic.
I felt that the actors all did a very good job. I was surprised by how small Tom Hanks' and Sandra Bullock's roles were, and yet you still felt an emotional connection to both of their characters.
Overall, it was a good film and was quite emotional. Does it bother me that it feels like a bit of a purposeful Oscar grab (the child might have special needs! September 11th was so emotional for so many! A potential holocaust reminder!)? Yes, but that's what happens this time of year anyway. Mr. Lock said this, and I agree, it wasn't all that predictable of a story, which was refreshing (that's coming from two people who have never read the book either, of course, otherwise you'd know the story and not feel the same way about the film).
Do I think it's deserving of Best Picture? I'm not sure, there are so many other nominees I haven't seen. I do think it beats Moneyball, though!
2012 Academy Awards Best Picture Nominees (in order of Seen, Likely to See Someday, Might Not See):
The Help (SEEN IT, love it! Best Picture, though? Not sure the Academy would think so.)
Moneyball (SEEN IT, it's okay...totally not anything more than a story, not Best Picture, kthx.)
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (SEEN IT, very good, has potential for Best Picture.)
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life