FILM: EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE
Adapted from the acclaimed bestseller by Jonathan Safran Foer, ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ is a story that unfolds from inside the young mind of Oskar Schell (Thomas Charles Horn), an inventive eleven year-old New Yorker whose discovery of a key in his deceased father’s belongings sets him off on an urgent search across the city for the lock it will open.
A year after his father died in the World Trade Center on what Oskar calls “The Worst Day,” he is determined to keep his vital connection to the man who playfully cajoled him into confronting his wildest fears. Now, as Oskar crosses the five New York boroughs in quest of the missing lock – encountering an eclectic assortment of people who are each survivors in their own way – he begins to uncover unseen links to the father he misses, to the mother who seems so far away from him and to the whole noisy, dangerous, discombobulating world around him.
When director Stephen Daldry – a three-time Oscar nominee for ‘The Reader’, ‘The Hours’ and ‘Billy Elliot’ – read Foer’s book, he was struck most of all by Oskar’s subjective point of view. An unusual child with arrestingly high intelligence yet eccentric and obsessive behaviours that might put him on the autistic spectrum, Oskar describes the world around him with his own particular mix of naiveté and insight, nervousness and boldness, incomprehension and a need to understand.
Most of all, Daldry was intrigued by how this POV, just like a child’s imagination, combined random thoughts, flashes of memory, lists of ideas and impromptu fantasies with pure emotion – all at a moment when life has irrevocably changed for Oskar’s family and the world around him.
“I found it truly compelling that Jonathan Safran Foer told this story not only from the perspective of a boy enduring unimaginable heartbreak, but a boy who has his own singular view of everything,” says Daldry. “It’s a perspective that is engaging, inventive and emotionally rich.”
CAST: Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks, Thomas Charles Horn, Zoe Caldwell, Max von Sydow, Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright, John Goodman
DIRECTOR: Stephen Daldry
FILM: THE SITTER
When the world’s worst babysitter (Jonah Hill) takes three of the world’s worst kids on an unforgettable overnight adventure through the streets of New York City, it’s anyone’s guess as to who is going to make it home in one piece. Jonah Hill is ‘The Sitter’, a new level of twisted and debauched storytelling from the director of ‘Pineapple Express’.
Subversive. Vulgar. Envelope-pushing. And that’s just the first few minutes of the comedy, which, after those 200 seconds or so, proceeds to go to even more extreme lengths of verbal scatology, plus assorted drug runs, bar fights, and episodes of grand larceny. Its cast of characters includes a drug kingpin, his fast-talking associate, a sexually selfish, coke-seeking woman, a trio of really, really effed–up kids, and a debased college dropout who earns his rep as the babysitter from hell only minutes after arriving on the scene.
The heart, soul and titular anti-hero of ‘The Sitter’ is Jonah Hill, who emerged as a formidable and original comedic voice in the films ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’, ‘Knocked Up’ and ‘Superbad’, and who more recently was hailed for his dramatic performances in the acclaimed independent film ‘Cyrus’, and opposite Brad Pitt in the critical and box-office hit ‘Moneyball’.
Hill’s on-screen character, Noah, is not your typical entertain-the-kids-no-matter-how-boring-it-is kind of sitter. Not even close.
He’s reluctant to take the sitting gig; he’d rather, well, be doing anything else, especially if it involves slacking. “Noah is more of the ‘sit on the sofa, eat a burrito, and do-whatever-I-say-or-I’ll-kill-you’ type of babysitter,” says Hill.
CAST: Jonah Hill, Max Records, Ari Graynor, JB SMOOVE, Sam Rockwell
DIRECTOR: David Gordon Green