The upcoming Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has just the right pedigree to make it a sight-unseen Oscar contender. You've got a cast of Oscar-nominated or winning actors, including Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis and the legendary Max von Sydow. You've got three-time Oscar nominated director Stephen Daldry—who's only directed three films! You have a source material from acclaimed author Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated) adapted by Eric Roth, the man behind Forrest Gump and Munich. And you have an adorable little kid, newcomer Thomas Horn, coping with some major dramatic issues—in this case, 9/11.
"Oscar bait" is a cynical label, but as soon as we see the tragic events that set Extremely Loud's main plot into motion and U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" kicks in, the cheese is cranked up to 11. Daldry's past films—the uplifting kids tale Billy Elliot, the haunting The Hours that earned Nicole Kidman an Oscar and the so-so The Reader that still helped Kate Winslet nab gold—demand we give his new venture the benefit of the doubt. Underneath Bono's heavy anthem could be a touching story of a young person coping with loss, striving for meaning. If so, Extremely Loud really could be an Oscar contender. And heck, I'm OK with that.
Just drop the U2.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close hits theaters in late December. Check out the first poster and trailer below or watch it in HD at Apple.