Look, I love John Goodman. We all love John Goodman. John Goodman is great! But all of a sudden he’s the biggest ticket to getting an Oscar for Best Picture. He was in three of the nominated films this year—Flight, ParaNorman, and Argo—and its the second year in a row that John Goodman has appeared in a Best Picture-winning film. Last year, of course, he had a small, silent role in The Artist. But don’t forget! He was also in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, a movie so terrible that everyone was stunned to see it get a Best Picture nomination. The secret? John Goodman. I’m telling you, put John Goodman in your movie. You’re not going to regret it.
Do you remember Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, darling of prospective English majors circa 2005? It’s hard to keep track of Brooklyn writers named Jonathan, so we’ll remind you: it’s not the one about sad Midwestern families or the one about comic books, but the one about a nine-year old’s search through his family history following the death of his father in the 9/11 attacks. Topical, heavy stuff, making it ripe for a film adaptation.
Six years after the book, the movie is finally coming out, and stars Tom Hanks, Viola Davis, Max von Sydow and Sandra Bullock. The first trailer was released a few months ago, but it wasn’t too hotly received. This new one has a much firmer grasp on the book’s melancholic but ultimately uplifting tone. There’s no twee opening scene, and no U2 scoring the soaring montage. Instead, there’s more Davis and von Sydow, and more of a cohesive arc that sells the book as the rare text-to-film adaptation that might not lose so much in translation (or so we hope).
Close gets a limited release on Christmas day, and expands nationally on January 20. Get out your handkerchiefs!