May 23, 2017

“Extremely Loud” having international premiere in Berlin – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell Stephen Daldry’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” which held its premiere over the weekend in New York City, is taking its promotional campaign overseas. The film will hold its international premiere with an out-of-competition screening at the Berlin International Film Festival. This year’s event runs from Feb. 9-19.

Daldry’s captivating drama adapts Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel about a special-needs boy (Thomas Horn) coping with the loss of his father (Tom Hanks) in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Sandra Bullock and Max von Sydow co-star in the emotionally stirring story, which was one of the last films to enter the Oscar season.

Gradually, “Loud” is picking up some awards heat – the BFCA recognized Daldry and his film with their Critics’ Choice Movie Awards nominations – and Warner Bros. Plans a Dec. 25 release in the States to keep it on Oscar’s radar.

It belongs there. those who’ve read Foer’s book know that Horn’s challenging character, Oskar, has Asperger’s Syndrome. It’s a subtle reveal, and one that changes the complexity of the film’s narration. With that knowledge comes tremendous sympathy, and overwhelming respect for Horn’s portrayal. Suddenly, the mission of this special-needs child isn’t as phony as you fear. It’s blunt. Honest. Emotional. And outstanding.

We’ll have more on “Loud” as the release date approaches. In the meantime, Berlin revealed that Zhang Yimou’s “The Flowers of War,” with Christian Bale, also will screen out of competition. And the following three films will compete: Brillante Mendoza’s “Captive;” Antonio Chavarrias’ “Childish Games;” and “Postcards From the Zoo,” the latest from Edwin.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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