Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA, 2011. Warner Bros., Scott Rudin Productions, Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Eric Roth, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. Cinematography by Chris Menges. Produced by Scott Rudin. Music by Alexandre Desplat. Production Design by K.K. Barrett. Costume Design by Ann Roth. Film Editing by Claire Simpson. Academy Awards 2011. Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2011.
Extremely annoyed is how you’ll feel from the opening of this execrable movie, a false and cloying attempt at feel-good post-9/11 drama that is surprisingly made by the director of the moving Billy Elliot and intelligent The Hours. After losing his father (Tom Hanks) in the disaster of the destruction of the Twin Towers, Thomas Horn goes on an adventure to find the meaning behind a key that he has discovered and has no explanation for. Is he looking for something that will actually contain a secret about his father that he did not know? Or is he just grasping at straws because of his grief? His journey takes him around New York City and into the lives of complete strangers despite the fact that he is not the least bit likeable: the film’s effort at creating a character who is a self-described undiagnosed spot on the autism-Asperger spectrum is to simply have him be impossibly rude to everybody. It’s one of the many things that fail to ring true in this outright failure, particularly the canned dialogue. The idea that Tom Hanks could be believable as a Jewish New York jeweler is preposterous, and Sandra Bullock looks embarrassed trying to pull off her bad wig in an effort to deglamorize her.