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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)

aka Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

"This is not a story about September 11th, it's a story about every day after."

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 129 mins · English, French · PG-13 (USA)


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Small Oskar Schell
Small Thomas Schell
Small Linda Schell
Small Stan the Doorman
Small The Renter
Small Minister
No_movie_poster Homeless Man
No_movie_poster Deli Waiter
No_movie_poster Schoolboy
Small Abby Black
No_movie_poster Oskar's Grandmother
No_movie_poster Jerry Black
Small William Black
Small Hector Black


Small Stephen Daldry Director
Small Scott Rudin Production
No_movie_poster Eric Roth Writer
Small Jonathan Safran Foer Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Claire Simpson Editing


"This is not a story about September 11th, it's a story about every day after."


The film begins with a body that seems to be falling from the sky, alluding to jumpers from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) is introduced as the son of German American Thomas Schell (Tom Hanks) who died during the attack.

Oskar is incredibly smart, and his father knew that. He would often send him on a mission to do something involving one of his riddles. The last riddle his father ever gives him is proof that the Sixth Borough was there. In a flashback, Thomas and Oskar play a scavenger hunt to find objects throughout New York City. The game requires communication with other people and is not easy: "if things were easy to find, they wouldn't be worth finding".

On September 11, Oskar is let out of school early while his mother Linda (Sandra Bullock) is at work. When Oskar gets home, he finds five messages from his father on the answering machine saying he is in the World Trade Center. When Thomas calls for the sixth time, Oskar hears the phone ringing but is too scared to answer. The machine records a sixth message, which stops when the building collapses, and Oskar knows his father has been killed and he falls to the floor. He replaces the answering machine so his mother will never find out.

A few weeks after what Oskar calls "the worst day", he confides in his German grandmother and they become closer. Oskar's relationship with his mother worsens since she cannot explain why the World Trade Center was attacked and why his father died. Oskar tells his mother he wishes it had been her in the building, not his father, and she responds, "So do I". After, Oskar says he did not mean it, but his mother doesn't believe him.

A year later, Oskar finds a vase in his father's closet with a key in an envelope with the word "Black" on it. He vows to find what the key fits. He finds 472 Blacks in the New York phone book and plans to meet each of them to see if they knew his father. He first meets Abby Black (Viola Davis), who has recently divorced her husband. She tells Oskar she did not know his father.

One day, Oskar realizes that a strange man (Max Von Sydow) moved in with his grandmother. Oskar stumbles upon the stranger who does not talk because of his childhood trauma of his parents' death in World War II. He communicates with written notes and his hands with "yes" and "no" written on them. As they become friends and go together on the hunt to find what the key fits, Oskar learns to face his fears, such as those of public transport and bridges. Oskar concludes that the stranger is his grandfather. Oskar plays the answering machine messages for the stranger. Before playing the last message, the stranger cannot bear listening any longer, and stops Oskar. Later on, the stranger moves out and tells Oskar not to search anymore.

When Oskar looks at a newspaper clipping his father gave him, he finds a circled phone number. He dials the number and reaches Abby, who wants to take Oskar to her ex-husband, William, who may know about the key. William (Jeffrey Wright) tells Oskar he has been looking for the key. William had sold the vase to Oskar's father who never knew the key was in the vase. The key fits a safe deposit box where William's father left something for him. Disappointed that the key does not belong to him, Oskar goes home.

Oskar's mother tells Oskar she knew he was contacting the Blacks. She then informs him that she visited each Black in advance and informed them that Oskar was going to visit and why. Oskar makes a scrapbook of his scavenger hunt and all the people he met and titles it "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." At the end of the scrapbook there is an animation where Thomas's body is falling up instead of down.

Oskar's grandfather returns to live with Oskar's grandmother.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 2011-12-25 : Toronto

Theatrical : 2011-12-25 : United States of America

Theatrical : 2012-01-20 : Canada

Theatrical : 2012-01-20 : United States of America

Theatrical : 2012-02-16 : Germany

Theatrical : 2012-02-16 : Hong Kong

Theatrical : 2012-02-16 : Peru

Theatrical : 2012-02-17 : Ireland

Theatrical : 2012-02-17 : Sweden

Theatrical : 2012-02-17 : United Kingdom

Theatrical : 2012-02-18 : Japan

Theatrical : 2012-02-23 : Argentina

Theatrical : 2012-02-23 : Australia

Theatrical : 2012-02-23 : Chile

Theatrical : 2012-02-23 : Greece

Theatrical : 2012-02-23 : New Zealand

Theatrical : 2012-02-23 : Singapore

Theatrical : 2012-02-24 : Brazil

Theatrical : 2012-02-24 : Colombia

Theatrical : 2012-02-24 : Finland

Theatrical : 2012-02-24 : Mexico

Theatrical : 2012-02-24 : Taiwan

Theatrical : 2012-02-24 : Uruguay

Theatrical : 2012-02-29 : Belgium

Theatrical : 2012-02-29 : France

Theatrical : 2012-02-29 : Malta

Theatrical : 2012-02-29 : Philippines

Theatrical : 2012-03-01 : Denmark

Theatrical : 2012-03-01 : Israel

Theatrical : 2012-03-01 : Portugal

Theatrical : 2012-03-02 : India

Theatrical : 2012-03-08 : Czech Republic

Theatrical : 2012-03-08 : Hungary

Theatrical : 2012-03-08 : Netherlands

Theatrical : 2012-03-15 : Kuwait

Theatrical : 2012-03-16 : Spain

Theatrical : 2012-03-16 : Turkey

Theatrical : 2012-03-22 : Slovenia

Theatrical : 2012-04-05 : Serbia

Theatrical : 2012-04-13 : Poland

Theatrical : 2012-04-20 : Norway

Theatrical : 2012-05-23 : Italy

Theatrical : 2012-05-24 : Croatia

DVD : 2012-03-27 : United States of America

2012-02-10 : Germany

2012-06-17 : China

2012-07-29 : Japan