[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"] E [/dropcap] ric Roth of Forrest Gump fame wrote the script of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, the novel originally written by Jonathan Safran Foer. This is one of the more thoughtful and artfully written 911 stories that was probably best done after a decade’s time has past. It is a sensitive tale of a young boy (Thomas Horn), who’s father (Tom Hanks) dies in the World Trade Center and who lives a somewhat estranged existence with his mother (Sandra Bullock) while he struggles with his loss. The analogy they use to describe the situation is that it takes 8 minutes for light to get from the sun to Earth….and thus, the sun can cease to exist and we on Earth would not know it for 8 minutes….and Horn lives in those 8 minutes relative to his father’s death.
Following that concept…..in the financial world, markets like the Euro and European lesser sovereign debt have been “Dead men walking” for over 12 years and investors have acted oblivious. By inference that must mean that Europe is closer to Uranus than the Sun. The free-fall after the dis-union will be just about like taking a nosedive off WTC #1.
But back to Extremely Close and Incredibly Loud…this film with it’s all-star talent and pedigree, starts very slowly, gets quite contrived with lots of secrets and cute mysterious relationships, but then twists itself into a solid and believable story that is both touching and strangely uplifting. The juxtaposition of the fear of falling and the freedom of flight proves to be all about how we choose to live our lives. Loss is inevitable, and no matter how Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close it may seem, if we remember the joy and wonder of life, we can all transcend it and accomplish greatness, kindness and grace.
I end up liking the movie despite the difficulty of being a father with a NYC child of comparable age to Horn at the time of 911 and the discomfort of reliving the “worst day”. I felt a bit like Max von Sydow as I sat in the theater……extremely quiet and incredibly distant…..but Sandra Bullock….the new era Earth Mother to children in need (aka The Blind Side) gave me back my voice and reeled me back in.