A few years back it became a hobby to make fun of the trend in marketing to describe things as extreme. Extreme sports are one thing (you aren’t going to see me jumping out of a helicopter into the middle of circling sharks while wearing a suit of meat with the goal of safely swimming back to shore. Way too extreme. Yes I made that sport up.), but can deodorant really be that extreme? Then again, every once in a while something worthy of the descriptor comes along. Such is the case with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. [Read more...]
Stephen Daldry’s latest is a well acted, well paced, and a surprisingly twisted and turning plot that engages you from start to finish.
Michael Berg is a young boy living in Germany almost fifteen years after the end of WWII. While riding the tram home one day he finds himself getting sick and gets off and throws up in the alley. Coming to his aide is a 30 something woman who helps him out and gets him home in one piece to which he discovers he has scarlet fever. After three months in bed he finally gets the chance to visit the woman, Hannah (Kate Winslet), and much to Michael’s surprise she seduces him into an affair which runs the length of a summer. One of the things Hannah enjoys most is Michael reading to her before and/or after sex, and it becomes a source of enjoyment for both of them as the days pass. Years later, Michael is a law student and he signs up to be a part of a seminar that will observe a trial prosecuting alleged Nazi’s for their crimes during the war. When Michael gets to the trial he finds that one of the women on trial is a Hannah Schmitz, the same Hannah that he had spent a summer with, and she finds herself at risk of being handed possibly the harshest of punishment for the deaths of over 300 Jews during the war; for allowing them to burn in a church on a march from the abandoned Auschwitz camp in 1944. [Read more...]