A Few Things About the First Trailer — and First Rumors — for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

This week's edition of Oscar Index made the point of allowing for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as an awards contender on paper, while withholding any specific hype until we'd all seen at least a trailer. Hours later, that trailer arrived. But even more interesting than the footage therein? How about the test-screening gossip trickling out around Stephen Daldry's magic-realist 9/11 tearjerker? [Warning: Spoilers ahead.]

First off, here's the new trailer, which debuted Wednesday night:

Meanwhile, over at In Contention, Kristopher Tapley passes along the reaction of a viewer who writes that Max von Sydow -- the Swedish icon presently in the seventh decade of his screen career -- is perhaps the deep cast's front-runner for an acting nomination:

"[Von Sydow's character] lost his ability to speak in Germany during WW2. [...] He has the words 'yes' and 'no' tattooed on his palms and wears a notepad around his neck. It's a very expressive performance, lots of interesting shrugs and expressions. He accompanies the boy on his journeys around the city and plays an important role in his healing.

"I'm not spoiling anything here, but an important element in the film are the voice messages the father leaves on the family answering machine while trapped in the tower. The camera is on von Sydow listening to [these] final messages. It's a little master class in reacting."

Coincidentally, that's the exact same feedback I heard from another viewer who saw another test screening in New York. Declining to be quoted directly, the viewer supplied other feedback as well:

· It's well-acted: While Tom Hanks and newcomer Thomas Horn are strong, the consensus in the room was that Sandra Bullock and silent von Sydow were the standouts most likely to receive awards-season recognition (both in the Supporting categories).

· It's sad: The viewer virtually choked up recounting story elements and sequences to me, mostly addressing the relationship between Hanks and Bullock.

· It's too soon: Among the New Yorkers who'd resided here during the 9/11 attacks, the film's current introduction -- which features falling bodies, crushing thuds, and other vividly horrifying reminders of the initial scene at the World Trade Center -- was less emotionally affecting than just inappropriate. The other viewers seemed to defer to the minority. Expect cuts?

· It's long: The viewer estimated the current running time around two-and-a-half hours. Again, expect cuts?

Anyway, there you have it. Your move, War Horse.


  • troofire says:

    Powerhouse cast -- the film has a great look -- so far this is the end of year film I'm most anxious to see.

  • Tommy Marx says:

    I agree with Troofire. I am really looking forward to this film. I don't think there will ever be a time when I don't think it's too soon for a 9/11 film, but I still want to see this.

  • benjamin says:

    I was at the New York test screening of this film and I thought the audience was luke warm at best. Sometimes you feel guilty criticizing anything to do with 9/11 but this film played more like a t.v. movie and Max Von Sydow was nowhere near a standout. They may give him something because of his age but it should not be for this role.

  • From Spain, Europe says:

    How is Sandra Bullock in the film? She's great?