A film that focuses on the human condition set against the tragedy that befell New York City, a day that still lives with us all.
Oskar (Horn) is a young boy whose father (Hanks) dies in one of the World Trade Center towers on September 11th. One year after he loses his father, Oskar discovers a key hidden inside a blue vase in his father’s closet. Determined to hold onto what’s left of his father, he ventures into the many parts of New York City to find out what the key unlocks. Along the way and through a series of flashbacks, we examine how Oskar views the world around him and the relationship between him and both of his parents.
The narration and the points of view are through the thoughts and vocal observations of a boy with Asperger’s syndrome. Oskar’s mind processes things differently than any of us do without this condition. It’s not just some average person experiencing the sights and sounds of New York City, but it’s a young boy who makes decisions and observations based on calculations and scientific fact, a boy who needs to make sense of every situation. The latter is something we all try to do: make sense of things that, upon first impressions, really don’t compute for any of us logically.
Throughout his journey, Oskar encounters different people and, in the end, his story affects them. It’s a story that should resonate with us all regardless our health issues or psychological stability. The story is set on the backdrop of a day that involved a personal attack on American soil. We may not have lost someone dear to us as a result, but it’s a story that reflects what little control we have over everyday occurrences and how we handle with those events.
It’s a brilliant, insightful film about a boy who has trouble making sense of everyday things coping with the loss of a loved one, moving on, and struggling to remain close to his mother (Bullock) after the Twin Tower attacks.
Jim’s Rating: 9.9/10