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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

February 16, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Oscar countdown: “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”

Our alphabetical march through the Best Picture nominees continues this morning with one of the less-heralded titles: “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” a drama about the events of 9/11 and its aftermath as seen through the eyes of a young boy who lost his father. Based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, it’s directed by Stephen Daldry, whose previous Oscar record was impeccable: three films (“Billy Elliot,” “The Hours,” “The Reader”), three directing nominations. Daldry didn’t make the director list this year, and nobody’s considering “Extremely Loud” to be a contender for best picture, due to unenthusiastic critical response (I found it uneven but often quite moving; but many critics dismissed it as cloying and precious) and to the film’s extremely late arrival on the scene. (It was completed very late in the season and thus wasn’t a contender for a number of early awards.) I’ll be curious how this film is perceived ten years from now; my guess is that time will treat it kindly, even if the Oscars don’t. But I seem to be in the minority here.
Total U.S. box office: $29.4 million
Total Oscar nominations: Two (best picture and best suppporting actor for Max von Sydow).
Best chance for a win: Not a chance for best picture, as described above. It’s possible that von Sydow could eke out a sentimental win in his category — he’s a beloved, elderly actor who’s never won — if he weren’t up against Christopher Plummer, who’s also a beloved, elderly actor who’s never won, and who’s been sweeping the pre-Oscar awards.
Odds of this movie creating some fabulous Oscar-night weirdness: If it won, it would be the biggest upset since, oh, “Shakespeare in Love.” But it won’t.
Where I’d rank this movie among the nine Best Picture nominees: 8
extremelyBoxofficefilm10.jpg
von Sydow and Oskar Horn in “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” (photo by Francois Duhamel, courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

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