I saw the preview for this movie (in the theater about to watch another movie) probably around 6-7 times. I swear, I teared up EVERY time I saw it.
I didn’t really understand exactly what the movie was about, but I got the fact that it centered around a boy who lost his father in the 9/11 attacks. Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock were in it and something about the way the preview was done was just so moving…I really wanted this to be one of those great movies that you know you will cry in, but you love it and want everyone else to see it and cry with you.
None of that really happened. Boo. Wait, why am I upset that I am NOT crying? hmmmm
I had a hard time with this one. To me, this should have been one of the greats. Directed by Stephen Daldry who did The Reader and The Hours, Tom Hanks and Sandy B, compelling story about a subject that is so dear to our hearts….should have been movie magic. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t ENTIRELY dislike this movie, I just wanted it to be so much better than I thought it ended up being.
The movie centered around Oskar Shell, a young boy who has lost his father in the 9/11. While I thought his acting was pretty great, especially for someone so young, I felt like the character was one big contradiction. He was supposedly afraid of everything, yet he spent most of the movie making his way all around NYC all by himself talking to strangers. I used to be quite the scaredy cat as a kid his age, and there is no way I would have done half the things he did. So that seemed a little off.
He was also very troubled and very hard to like and connect with. Its tough to really enjoy or appreciate a film, when you find yourself majorly disliking the main character. I understand that he was troubled by his experience and the almost insurmountable pain he was dealing with affected how he came across, but I just felt like there was something missing. The link that made us actually care.
There was also a sort of anti-climactic feel to the movie that was also disappointing. The majority of the movie centers around Oskar’s search for a lock. He found a mysterious key in his fathers closet a year after his death and he was convinced that finding that lock would somehow keep him connected to the fading memory of his father. That search does come to a conclusion ( a rather anti-climactic one) but then the film takes a bit of a turn and dives more into his relationship with his mother which hadn’t really developed much throughout the rest of the movie.
All in all, I’m not really sure what this movie was trying to tell me. A definite let down based on what I thought it was going to be. I did like Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock (per usual) but other than that, kind of a wash.
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