Written on: 31/01/2012 by filmwriter (2 reviews written)
The thing that strikes you when you come out of the theater after watching this film is how brilliant young actor Thomas Horn is in his debut. While the 9/11-themed movie features top stars, Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, Horn not just steals the show, but is the show. He appears in every scene and carries himself like a veteran actor instead of one discovered by a producer when he competed in a kids "Jeopardy" game show.
Horn portrayed a full range of emotions playing a nine year-old named Oskar Schell as he tries to cope after losing his father in the attacks on the World Trade Center. His character's actions indicate he has symptoms of a high-functioning disability, perhaps Asperger Syndrome.
Swedish star, Max Von Sydow, does an Oscar-worthy turn as an aging man who hasn't spoken in years. He communicates by writing on a paper tablet. Oskar befriends the man simply known as The Renter in the boy's quest to find the lock which accepts the key he found among his father's possessions.
Bullock shows off her dramatic chops as the widow trying to get through to her son while dealing with her own grief. Hanks has the smallest of the star roles, really an afterthought appearing in flashbacks.
If there is a negative it relates to the lock the key opens. I'll say no more rather than spoil the plot.