Ever since it was announced last year, the adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2005 novel Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close has seemed like a Franken-stitched experiment in engineering the perfect Oscar movie. Its director, Stephen Daldry, has scored a nomination for all three of his features (Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader), its screenwriter Eric Roth boasts three of his own nominations and one win (for Forrest Gump), and it stars Tom Hanks—whom people love to lob trophies at—and Sandra Bullock, who’s coming off a win for The Blind Side and the most successful year of her career.
On top of all that, it’s the story of a precocious boy (Kids Jeopardy champ Thomas Horn) embarking on a whimsical, coming-of-age journey, and a story about he and his mother (Bullock) grieving the loss of his father (Hanks), combined with just a smidgen of World War II via the Dresden flashbacks of his grandfather (Max Von Sydow). Oh, and did we mention that this is also a movie about 9/11? So essentially, this film is missing only a flashback to the ’60s civil rights movement or a benevolent mentally challenged man to already be a lock.
As evidence of its outsized ambitions, this first trailer takes a great big swing for the box-office fences—playing up the sappier, more mawkish side of Foer’s (admittedly pretty weepy, but also occasionally weird) novel, fervently yanking on the national heartstrings with its centerpiece shots of the burning World Trade Center, and even bringing in U2’s “Where The Streets Have No Name” for maximum “uplift.” If it all seems a little cloying and painted in big, goopy strokes, well, that’s been the plan since the beginning.