The drama on TV tonight: “Very strong, incredibly close” Saturday 11 September 2021 at 9:10 pm on La 5 (Canale 30)
Very strong and Incredibly Close (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) is a 2011 film directed by Stephen Daldry, a film adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel of the same name.
The film, which garnered two 2012 Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (Max von Sydow), stars young actor Thomas Horn, alongside Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, as well as John Goodman, Viola Davis , Jeffrey Wright and Max von Sydow.
Oskar Schell is a nine-year-old boy with Asperger’s syndrome, the son of Thomas Schell, a German-American jeweler. Thomas often proposes riddles to the child, and he must start a treasure hunt to solve them. The last arcane he proposes to Oskar before he dies is to find out if New York has ever owned a sixth district. The rules of the game are to go around the city and ask people for information, which is not easy for Oskar as he is very shy and introverted.
September 11, 2001, Oskar and his classmates are sent home earlier while his mother is still at work. When the boy returns home, he finds five messages recorded on the answering machine from his father, saying that he is locked inside the World Trade Center. When the phone rings for the sixth time, Oskar is too scared to answer, so he lets it ring: the answering machine then records the sixth message, but it stops just when the buildings collapse. Oskar knows that his father is dead, so he replaces the old tape with a new one, and hides it so his mother can’t find it.
A few weeks after what Oskar calls “the worst day” he confides in his paternal grandmother: their relationship becomes ever closer and deeper. Instead, his relationship with his mother worsens considerably, as she is unable to explain to him either why the city was attacked or why his father had to die. During an argument, he tells her that he would have preferred her to have died during the attack, and she replies, destroyed, “Me too”.
A year later, Oskar finds a vase in his father’s closet, accidentally drops it and finds an envelope hidden inside with a key with the word “Black” written on it. He then decides to find out what that key opens. He finds 472 people called Black in the phone book and makes an appointment with all of them to find out if they’ve ever met his father. He first meets Abby Black, a woman who intrigues him a lot, since she is divorcing; however, the woman never met her father.
One day Oskar discovers that a stranger is moving into his grandmother’s house. The man does not speak due to a childhood trauma: the death of his parents during the Second World War. He communicates only by writing in a notebook and has the words “yes” and “no” tattooed on his hands. As soon as they become friends, Oskar tells him his story and shows him the bruises he gets by himself in an attempt to cope with the pain of his father’s death. Together they go to find what unlocks the key and Oskar learns to face his fears. The boy realizes that the stranger is his grandfather, so he plays the tape with the recording he had hidden, but the grandfather reacts badly and tells him to stop looking for the owner of the key.
But Oskar does not give up and continues to search for her. One night, after picking up a newspaper clipping that was in the same box as the vase containing the key, the child notices something he has never noticed before. The father had in fact circled a number in red, which Oskar promptly decides to call. The call will be answered by Abby, the first woman they met and they immediately meet. Abby will accompany Oskar to her husband, the only one who seems to know the story of the mysterious key. The meeting will unfortunately result in a disappointment for the child. The key, in fact, will be discovered to have no connection with Oskar’s father, but to be the key to a safe that belonged to the father of Abby’s ex-husband.
Some time later, the mother makes a confession to Oskar. She, in fact, knew of her son’s plan from the beginning and tells him that it was she who made an agreement with all the Blacks on the list, informing them in advance that Oskar would arrive. In the end, the child decides to make a book of his adventure, to never forget; sticking on it all the various clues, maps and newspaper clippings gets the title “Very strong, incredibly close.”
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Starring: Max von Sydow, Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock John Goodman, Viola Davis and Jeffrey Wright