I viewed this film for the second time, mainly because my wife, Cindy, had yet to see it and it was the final Best Picture Nominee that remained for her to view. Secondarily, I liked it and wanted to see it again, although it was by no means my favorite film of the year or favorite of the Best Picture Nominees. Those distinctions belong to Hugo, a story for another day. As an added bonus, my daughter Kim’s good friend, Christine Packnick is an Assistant Manager at the Raves Cinemas, Southington CT, down the street from our house & where we intended to see it yesterday morning at 10:30, and she kindly put all three of us on the guest list.
The film follows the life of a young adolescent Oskar Schell, played by Thomas Horn, who is on a mission to unlock the mystery and make sense of his dearly beloved father’s death in the attacks of 9/11/01. His father is played magnificently by Tom Hanks. On his journey, he recruits the mute The Renter of a room in his grandmother’s apartment. The role of The Renter is masterfully performed by Max von Sydow and it garnered him a Best Supporting Actor Nomination. Balancing his love & obsession for his father is Oskar’s resistance to the compassion of his mother and Sandra Bullock in the role steals the show. No Oscar snub is more blatant this year in my eyes. The adapted screenplay is also notably missing from the Oscars Ballot.
I enjoyed this film the first time but this time more. Perhaps it’s the company you keep: I saw it initially alone. It’s one flaw is that Thomas Horn is relatively mediocre and very much overshadowed by Hanks, Bullock, von Sydow, and the story. Highly recommended and worth it’s Best Picture Nomination. 4 Stars!!!