I've talked in blog posts before about the power of story. I have been changed by the storytelling of others. I have had readers tell me that they've been changed because of my storytelling. It's one of the blessings of what I do, to get to see what God does with the words I write.
Novels, of course, are just one form of storytelling. Movies are another, and I confess that, when I am working hard on a book, I love to treat myself with a couple of hours watching movies that touch my heart or make me laugh.
I'm careful about making movie recommendations. What I think is wonderful, others might hate. Come to think of it, I've had people reject some of my books because of the themes of the stories, books that God has used in profound ways. The Forgiving Hour and Ribbon of Years have both been tossed into the trash without being finished. And yet I get more letters of hearts touched because of those two novels than any others I've written.
Anyway, I'm taking a risk and recommending a PG-13 rated movie to you: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. It's been ages and ages since I have cried and cried as I did toward the end of this film. Sometimes I was smiling through the tears, too. Sometimes I was just short of sobbing.
The acting is top notch, not just by the adult leads (Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock) but by the child lead, Thomas Horn. Superb! I am familiar with Aspergers behavior, and this kid captured that literal way of thinking and speaking to a T.
The Netflix blurb says this: "Believing that his father left him a message before dying in the September 11 attacks, young Oskar Schell embarks on an emotional odyssey through New York City to find the lock that matches a key he found among his father's belongings."
Although this film incorporates the horror of the 9/11 tragedy, I don't believe the story exploits it. That painful background is used, instead, to tell the honest and moving story of a boy's love for his father and his father's love for him. And although it doesn't seem like it at first, it is also a love story between mother and son.
Have you seen it? What did you think?
~robin (who is incredibly close to typing the end on another book; when that happens, I'll get extremely loud with shouts of joy)