Based on Jonathan Safran Foer's novel and directed by Stephen Daldry (The Hours), Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a tale of a grieving boy's attempt to come to terms with his father's passing as well as a film in remembrance of 9/11 and the grief it brought upon many lives near and far.
Related from the point of view of a socially awkward 9-year-old Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn), the story unfolds with the boy's collection of things and phone messages his deceased father (Tom Hanks) left behind on the fateful day. He also finds a key in an envelope, which set him on an urban treasure hunt seeking a New Yorker with the name of Black who holds the lock to the key. Knocking door to door, he shares his story with strangers with "Black" in their names and checking if they have spare locks to open at home. Helpers include his doting grandmother (Zoe Caldwell) and her tenant "The Renter" (Max Von Sydow).
With the talent for scrapbooking, the child, who has been diagnosed "inconclusive" for Asperger's syndrome, records in detail addresses, photographs and other notes – illustrating the sentimentality of the film. From this, you may also tell that Extremely Loud & Incredibly Clear is a film that, rather than visually illustrate the tragedy, chose to make use of conversations and interviews with loved ones left behind to relate the emotions and grief they felt. For the sentimental at heart, this film will touch your heart with cliched but well-placed words of wisdom from strangers such as "everyday is a miracle" and the like.