A shoddy trailer does not always accurately anticipate the finished product of a film, but this one’s a doozy of a trainwreck. Stephen Daldry, director of such maudlin fare as “Billy Elliot” and “The Reader” — though I do have a soft spot for “The Hours” — has adapted Jonathan Safran Foer’s bold, big-dreaming novel “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” (published in 2005) for the screen. The film is slated for a Christmas release, so we can assume the studios are pushing for Oscars.
Well, this is one of the most upsetting trailers I have ever seen. Accompanied by none other than U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” — a destined soundtrack for trailers, and one of my least favorite tracks off the (yes) most excellent 1987 The Joshua Tree — the trailer boasts a big ole slab of sappy schlock. Tom Hanks will play Thomas Schell, a man who dies on 9/11 and leaves a mysterious legacy behind for his son Oskar (Thmas Horn) and wife (Sandra Bullock, whose incessant sobbing and permanently consternated expression are no doubt aims at Oscar nom numero dos).
A novel as expressive, idea-oriented, humane, game-changing and imaginative as Jonathan Safran Foer’s ought to have a more creative treatment. But instead, it is reduced to an empty “Schell” of itself, just another Hollywood movie about bad things happening to pretty people who could never really exist in our world anyway.