Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is an absolutely incredible movie filled with life transitions and how people approach them.  The movie was named Best Movie of the Year and, frankly, I can understand why.  The story is told through the eyes of an 11 year old boy whose father died in the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster.  The young boy, Oskar Schell, is convinced that his father has left him a key and it is his mission to find what the key unlocks.  At the same time he, and others, are working through layers of grief and transition. 

Well, the key unlocks more than anyone bargains for as Oskar journeys through the stories of many people.  My interpretation says that the key unlocks emotions, broken relationships, hearts and minds and finally brings healing. 

There are many layers to this movie, especially when looking for themes regarding life transition.  Every character is in some form of transition and the viewer can see the many different ways transition is approached. 

Other themes I see running through this movie:

    1. frenetic approaches to find meaning in life when life doesn’t appear to make sense;
    2. coping with out of control anxiety in the midst of transition;
    3. issues of base fear and anxiety and how these raw emotions impact life.

For me, the highlight of the movie comes in a scene that, in my way of thinking, pulls the whole movie together.  There is an incredible time when confession and absolution takes place in a setting that one would least expect it, and yet, with the same power that confession and absolution always has.  What a moment! 

My guess is that it is impossible to get through this movie without tears.  After watching it, I bought my own copy.  This is one I will watch many times as I attempt to work with the themes that it brings forth.

Related Posts