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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Shitty?

[ 203 ] January 24, 2012 |

This was truly a banner year for terrible movies, with most of the worst directors in Hollywood coming out. Schumacher! Emmerich! Bay! Snyder! Marshall! Several films from Adam Sandler’s Straight-to-Video Quality Films LLC!

But I was interested to see several critics in the New York survey mentioned Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. About 15 seconds into the first time I saw the preview it was clear that it was going to be a major threat to be the Academy’s middlebrow doorstop of choice. And that was before I knew it had been directed by Stephen Daldry, the homeless man’s Lasse Hallström and the most obvious choice to produce the kind of kitschy “serious” films that simulate content without having any. It’s based on a prominent bad novel using one horrible historical event as a backdrop, and also invokes two other horrible historical events while telling you nothing you didn’t already know about any of them or about anything else. It has an annoying precocious kid, who encounters Noble African-Americans. It has Tom Hanks. I mean talk about your Oscar bait. So did it get nominated? Oh, yes, and I can’t imagaine anyone thinks this is surprising. Has anyone seen it? Could anything be as bad as it looks?

Comments (203)

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  1. ploeg says:

    It has Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock. Oscars for everybody!

  2. Spud says:

    I object to those lists for one reason:

    War Horse should not be on it. That film was Sarah Jessica Parker’s best performance ever! She really sold the part of Joey to the audience.

    • strannix says:

      Ha ha, I get it, you’re making fun of an unattractive woman! Major lulz, bro!

    • sam says:

      Because her nose is big! Like a horse’s!

      • Spud says:

        Ha ha, I get it, you’re making fun of an unattractive woman! Major lulz, bro!

        Yes

        I guess he must have extremely high standards…

        Yes

        Because her nose is big! Like a horse’s!

        and Yes

        This is a rough crowd!!

        That being said, I liked War Horse. It isn’t Oscarworthy but not the worst way to kill time out there.

        As for Extremely Loud…, I won’t see it on principle. I am not a fan of 9/11-sploitation films. I was there, I can do without Hollywood’s take on it.

        That’s just me. If you feel the need to see it, I won’t say anything. But I won’t bother.

  3. Epicurus says:

    It could have been worse; they might have cast Julia Roberts in the Bullock role.

  4. Richard says:

    So you’re blasting a movie you’ve not seen? How about reserving judgment until you’ve seen it? (Haven’t seen it myself because it doesn’t look like my cup of tea but I make it a practice not to vilify works of art I’m unfamiliar with. Seeing a trailer doesn’t count).

  5. TBP says:

    The preview makes me want to run screaming from the theater. No intention whatsoever of seeing it. I’ll have to rely on secondary sources.

  6. Fighting Words says:

    Tintin was robbed!!!

    I’m actually more worried about “the Help,” which is the condescending “rich white girl helps the poor African-American women” that the Academy seems to like. For example, “the Blind Side.”

  7. Greg says:

    I’m surprised just because all of the precursor awards snubbed it, especially the guilds. The worst part is that because of the new rules, the fact that it got a nomination means that at least 5% of the Academy thought that it was not merely one of the best films of the year, but the single best film of the year.

  8. mark f says:

    But is it better than that movie in which Adam Sandler dresses like Dylan on the cover of Blonde On Blonde and listens to Quadrophenia at Don Cheadle’s apartment because when you really think about it 9/11 was a downright bummer?

  9. ed says:

    AV Club (Scott Tobias) grade: F.

  10. Anderson says:

    From the Kirn review: “The grandmother’s letter is one long pregnant pause chopped up into a thousand or so full stops (‘I didn’t eat lunch. Seconds passed. The afternoon left. The evening came. I didn’t eat dinner. Years were passing through the spaces between moments’) that make it sound like a Buddhist affidavit.”

  11. djw says:

    As someone who once made the mistake of trying to read a book by Jonathan Safran Foer, I feel quite confident condemning this movie without seeing.

  12. I had the same reaction, both to the preview and to the Oscar nomination.

  13. c u n d gulag says:

    I minored in film in college.

    The last movie I paid to see was “Good Night, And Good Luck.”
    And that’s probably the last “new” movie I watched, since I don’t get HBO, STARZ, or Showtime. And I won’t watch them on the networks because of all of the commercials.

    And I have to say, for a person who once revered movies, I don’t miss them at all.

    I watch Turner Classic Movies if I want to watch great films.

    I know, I know – I sound like the old guy yelling at the kids to get off his lawn.

  14. david mizner says:

    I saw it. It was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen — seriously — and I’ve seen a lot. From the very first second it’s an absolutely shamelessly obsequious effort to make you cry and contains not one recognizably human human nor authentic moment. It made me angry, and I had to stifle my groans only because one of the woman watching with me was, in fact, crying from almost the first second. (Shittiness is in the eye of the beholder.) Although I couldn’t contain a chuckle when the fake kid got down on his knees and whimpered I love you through a closed door to his fake mother who was kneeling down on the other side.

  15. actor212 says:

    Tom Hanks is the watered-down poor man’s version of Spencer Tracy.

    Only much less so.

  16. strannix says:

    For what it’s worth, Extremely Loud has the lowest Metacritic score (46) of any movie to be nominated for Best Picture, going back to at least 1996. It’s worse than The Blind Side (53), and worse than Daldry’s own The Reader (58), which is the third-lowest.

    Yes, I spent the last few hours researching this.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

      Teh Internets thanks you for your service!

    • Anderson says:

      The Reader at least provided an occasion for discussing “Kate Winslet” and “merkin.” I’ve seen lots of movies less rewarding than that.

      … When did I give up on the Oscars? I forget which “Best Picture” did it for me: Gladiator or Return of the King.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

        Out of Africa, Forrest Gump, Titanic, Dances With Wolves, American Beauty, and Crash make Return of the King look like Citizen Kane (which, of course, didn’t win).

        • Ed says:

          “Return of the King” was given the nod in order to honor the trilogy as a whole. The Academy sometimes goes in for belated acknowledgment of that kind. Arguments could be made for both “Titanic” and “Forrest Gump.” “Gladiator” was a big hit that revived a genre, something the Academy also tends to reward. Can’t say much for “Out of Africa” except it was nice to see the late Sydney Pollack get his Best Director award.

          It’s been a pretty decent year for movies. Maybe nothing great, but a lot of good and/or interesting viewing out there to be had.

          Hanks is a real star and fine actor. I’d rather watch him than Spencer Tracy most days, although not in “Larry Crowne.” He’s made some bad decisions recently, no doubt about it.

          I’m sure Incredibly Close Whatever is terrible. You don’t have to go to the Sahara to know what it’s like, etc.

        • snarkout says:

          Dances with Wolves beat Goodfellas and Forrest Gump beat both Pulp Fiction and Quiz Show, but The Greatest Show on Earth beat Singing in the Rain, High Noon, and The Quiet Man.

          • actor212 says:

            Forrest Gump beat both Pulp Fiction and Quiz Show and Shawshank Redemption

            This was the reason I finally gave up on watching the Oscars. Of those four films, Gump is the one that never gets shown on TV. Pulp Fiction, Shawshank, even Quiz Show pops up occasionally.

            I can understand not wanting to glorify Pulp Fiction. I can even get behind not wanting to admit Hollywood (thru television) can be bought. But to deny Shawshank, arguably one of Stephen King’s only good novels and arguably one of the best prison films ever made, its due over Forrest Fucking Gump is a tragedy of farcical proportions.

            I had problems with the Oscars long before this, but this abomination shut the door for me.

            • Joshua says:

              I agree, Forrest Gump is easily the worst movie on the list. But it’s on TV once in a while. I saw it a month or so ago.

              I posited in an earlier thread that it got the BP Oscar so Hollywood could fend off charges of liberal bias. It didn’t work.

            • witless chum says:

              Dances With Wolves is just a better movie than Goodfellas. Scorcese’s movie is techically brilliant, but ultimately it’s about gangsters. Who aren’t as interesting as Lakota or white men who join them, despite the fact that they know they’re fucked.

              I seriously cried at the end of the that movie, when Wind In His Hair was yelling to his friend. I gave less than half a fuck about any character in Goodfellas.

              Plus, pretty prairies. And a buffalo hunt.

              • Erik Loomis says:

                Dances with Wolves is a bombastic condescending piece of shit. Let’s romanticize Indians some more.

                • witless chum says:

                  I guess I didn’t find it that romantic? It didn’t soft-pedal warfare between the Lakota and Pawnee, for instance, or that they’re as capable of brutality as white people. He explicitly seems to be making the connection between the Civil War opening and the battle where Dunbar gives the army’s guns to his new friends and they use them to slaughter the Pawnee. (And remember Wes Studi giving an awesome lineless performance as “Toughest Pawnee?”

                  There’s a longer cut that also includes a scene from the novel where Dunbar is conflicted after the Lakota kill, scalp and cut the hands off some trespassing white buffalo hunters. That version also restores another long sequence of OMG the white man despoils nature set in, I think, the Black Hills. That bit was better off cut.

                  It doesn’t give a very complex view of either society, so that’s okay? I seriously mean that a lot of the reason the movie’s great is about the way Costner uses the scenery and score to show off what it’s like to go out onto those prairies for the first time. I always loved the movie, but I loved it more after I drove from Michigan to Colorado by way of Deadwood.

                  And seeing the plains Indian lifestyle through Dunbar’s eyes as seeming pretty good makes sense because it’s a story about a guy who decides to abandon his society and join another. Which happened a fair amount, so long as there were independent native societies.

                  Bombastic I won’t argue with and as far as condescending, I guess I didn’t get that feel? Maybe the Lakota are a little too politically ignorant of white society? And the white people are too crude?

          • Stag Party Palin says:

            but The Greatest Show on Earth beat Singing in the Rain, High Noon, and The Quiet Man.

            Great jumping horny toads. I didn’t know that. It must have been Burt Lancaster doing (some) of his own stunts. It beat the best movie musical, one of the best westerns, and the best John Wayne (OK, that’s a low bar, but I was in love with Maureen O’Hara)?

            Up until now I thought the worst Oscar of all time was for the song, “I talk to the animals.”

      • strannix says:

        Return of the King, at least, was extremely well-reviewed. I didn’t care for Jackson’s trilogy myself, but I’ve given up the ghost on that one.

        • Scott Lemieux says:

          I don’t really care for the Jackson LOTR movies because of my lack of interest in the underlying material, but they’re very well done.

          • Pinko Punko says:

            Actually, most of Jackson’s choices in those films are quite ham-handed (dwarf tossing?). Jesus.

            I think Tinker Tailor got snubbed for editing and maybe directing, though Alfredson decided to almost Mallick the story.

            • Scott de B. says:

              Congrats, you’ve pointed out one five-second flaw in a ten hour trilogy.

              • Pinko Punko says:

                I could type for hours about all of Jackson’s bad choices. How about Gandalf basically lighting Denethor up as if he was Bruce Willis in Die Hard. How about the Frodo/Sam break on the stairs. That really fits with the characterizations in the book! Maybe Frodo can cry some more. He got a ton right, but almost all of his changes were for the worse in terms of character and tone.

                • Anderson says:

                  Oh yeah, I could make my own blog of Peter Jackson’s LOTR Sucks, but then I would have to watch that shit again.

                  You mentioned Denethor, who in Tolkien is a tragic figure, noble in appearance but with his hope ruined due to his being deceived by Sauron via the palantir.

                  Whereas in the film, he’s a nasty oaf whom the audience *cheers* as he jumps flaming off the pinnacle of Minas Tirith.

                  LOTR is up there with The Hours and The Golden Bowl as a studied act of revenge against the source material.

                • I thought the source was tedious, and I was excited when I heard that Jackson was going to do it. The dwarf-tossing gag was indeed stupid, and the last movie had about an hour of boring ending, but on the whole it was energetic in a way that the book was not.

                • wengler says:

                  Anderson with a tired recitation about how the source material is unfilmable.

                  Who gives a shit about Denethor? If you truly cared about the books you would get all pissy about how The Scouring of the Shire is not even there. That was the biggest major deviation.

                • Timb says:

                  How can you beat ghosts? Why ghosts?

                • Pinko Punko says:

                  Subby McG- if you are into the books, they are not boring, at least from the end of the first through the first half of the second is quite exciting, and Jackson got that part exactly right (the race across Rohan). Also, the slower parts are easy to leave out in terms of adapting to a film.

                • Halloween Jack says:

                  This is my cue to link to China Mieville’s essay on LotR, both the books and the movies. If you really like the books, then you probably really like all or almost all of the elements of the books, and don’t like anything that Jackson changed or eliminated. (I’ve had the Tom Bombadil discussion more than once with more than one person.) I still maintain that it’s probably the best movie of the trilogy that could be made.

                • 4jkb4ia says:

                  Liked Anderson’s comment 1000 times. Was very glad to see the Jackson LOTR bashing farther down in the thread. Even my husband realized what was done to Denethor was not right.

      • TL says:

        “‘The Reader’! Da-da, da-da, da-da-dah! I didn’t see ‘The Reader’!”

        I, unfortunately, did see The Reader, because I’ll watch just about anything our public library randomly gets on Blu-ray. But three burns by Daldry is enough for me.

        • Scott Lemieux says:

          I actually thought it was better than the Hours, remarkably enough.

          • Anderson says:

            Oh don’t even go there. The *book* The Hours was just incredible (n.b. a longtime Woolf fan speaking).

            The *movie* was appalling. It really seemed to be done by someone who hadn’t read the book, or just didn’t care. And it’s a short freakin’ book.

          • md rackham says:

            The trick for watching the hours is to close your eyes and concentrate on the (Phillip Glass) score.

            And when the score isn’t playing, just mentally “la-la-la I can’t hear you!” over the dialog.

            During the trailer for Extremely Loud I actually laughed out loud at its ham-handedness, much to the consternation of my wife who was limiting herself to quiet snickering.

      • CaptBackslap says:

        Gladiator hasn’t held up well (although it doesn’t make me cringe now like American Beauty, but on what level did Return of the King fail as a movie? The omission of most of the falling action from the book was a mistake, but it didn’t ruin anything.

      • Joshua says:

        Crash did it for me, for good.

        Gladiator came close though, as it came out in the same year, and was nominated alongside, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon… except it was worse in pretty much every way.

      • Greg says:

        In terms of winners, the Best Picture Oscar has been doing pretty well of late. The Departed, No Country for Old Men, and The Hurt Locker are all great films, and Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech are both very good (though not all time classics).

        For me the test of a bad Oscar win/nomination is whether it will be the only notable historical legacy of the film in question.

        • Erik Loomis says:

          I would certainly argue that the only notable historical legacy of Slumdog Millionaire or The King’s Speech is that it won Best Picture. Both films are already being rapidly forgotten. My disdain for Slumdog is especially strong.

        • Richard says:

          All a matter of taste. I thought the Departed was the worst Scorsese movie and that No Country was absurdly overrated. This year, I’ve seen five of the nominated movies and liked four (didn’t much like The Help but it had some great acting)

          • Timb says:

            No Country for Old Men was over-rated? I think I saw it on TBS last weekend, does that change your mind.

            Damn movie STILL scares me

            • jeer9 says:

              Incredibly rich, powerful film on the nature of evil. Its only flaw is Llewelyn’s midnight return to the murder scene to bring the water. He has to go back so he knows they are after him; otherwise, the drug dealers or Chigurh simply track him to the trailer park and the film ends quickly. He should have given the dying Mexican a canteen with his name on it, and then realized later that night that he’d forgotten to retrieve it when he got caught up in following the money. He had to have known the dying Mexican was dead by then and it didn’t make any sense. Trying to cover his tracks by retrieving a canteen, while not as honorable, at least seems reasonable.

              • Kiwanda says:

                Just being “on” the nature of evil is not sufficient. Was it a meditation on the nature of evil? Did it at least limn the nature of evil? I can’t enjoy shoot-em-ups that mess with plot expectations unless they limn the nature of evil. At minimum.

        • Ed says:

          The Academy’s recent track record in regard to Best Picture winners is good. All of those pictures are quality choices, although I wouldn’t call any of them great. (I might argue for No Country for Old Men’s classic status.)

          The Oscars don’t necessarily mean much in terms of which movies last the test of time, however, so I’d not recommend that as your litmus test. In the acting categories particularly the award has gone to some demonstrably awful choices.

          • Greg says:

            That’s my point. If the award itself is all it has going for it in terms of legacy, then it wasn’t a good choice. People would watch and talk about Bridge on the River Kwai regardless of the fact that it won Best Picture, but the only reason anyone remembers Around the World in 80 Days is because it won.

      • Hogan says:

        For me the first nail in the coffin was Out of Africa; the last was the nomination of Ghost.

      • adolphus says:

        When The English Patient beat Fargo.

        • actor212 says:

          That is universally acknowleged as a paean to the gullibility of young women worldwide. I don’t think anyone even who voted for it actually believed it was the best picture, just the richest. Sort of like how Republicans vote for Mitt Romney.

    • sleepyirv says:

      I wasn’t bothered by Crash too much. It was bad but Brokeback Mountain wasn’t anything special- too much stretching of a short story and uneven performance by Jake Gyllenhaal undercuts a good Ledger role and nice Ang Lee direction.

      This years lineup is mostly evidence to just a terrible year in Hollywood movies.

      • Richard says:

        Couldn’t disagree more. I really like The Artist, Midnight in Paris, Descendants and Moneyball. Latter two would get a best picture nomination in any year.

        • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

          Hugo is certainly deserving of consideration.

        • jeer9 says:

          The Descendants, while a good film, is not in the same league as Payne’s previous three efforts, which means it will certainly win the Oscar as the academy voters are always slow on the uptake.

          Moneyballis entertaining (though it put my baseball-averse wife to sleep) but hardly noteworthy. It needed some editing and a greater elaboration of the relationship between Howe and Beane as the team’s fortune
          changed.

          Hugo is a directorial tour de force, though rather hollow and unengaging once one gets past the visual fireworks.

          Overall, a poor year. Win Win and A Better Life deserve some recognition. Margin Call had potential but needed a sharper political context to really shake and disturb the viewer (and someone fresh besides Spacey in a role he’s seemingly played a thousand times).

          • Richard says:

            I liked Descendants and Moneyball a lot more than you did (and especially liked the use of Hawaiian music in the former -soundtrack album is a real gem). My wife is very baseball averse, actually sports averse in general, but she really liked Moneyball.

            Also liked Margin Call a lot. Lack of political context didn’t bother me.

            • Ed says:

              The Descendants has its problems but I thought it better About Schmidt or Sideways. But then I’ve found Payne’s pictures to be disappointing in one way or another since Citizen Ruth and Election.

              The Descendants soundtrack is marvelous. Probably the best part of the movie.

              • jeer9 says:

                Citizen Ruth hasn’t held up well. The polemical aspects about abortion seem tedious and drawn-out, the humor forced. Election is pitch perfect and funnier each time I watch it. Tracy Flick never grows old as a character. The other two films remain sharp, incisive depictions of personalities who are not nearly as sympathetic as Clooney’s.

                • witless chum says:

                  This. Election has to have been the best picture of 1999, right?

                • Erik Loomis says:

                  I have All About My Mother, The Limey, and Being John Malkovich as the best 3 pictures from 99

                • jeer9 says:

                  Amodovar is pretentious and self-indulgent. Cannot watch any more. The Limey is quite good, though not in the same category as Election.BJM led to some very amusing conversations over cocktails afterward, though the plot, like many of Kaufman’s creations, remains largely unfathomable, a triumph of bits and pieces rather than a coherent whole.

                • witless chum says:

                  Forgot The Limey. Okay, that one’s really tough. Soderbergh made Out of Sight one year and The Limey the next. Fuck’s sake, that’s greatness.

                • Ed says:

                  I don’t think Citizen Ruth is as good as Election but at the time it promised better things from Payne. Still hoping.

                  Sideways or About Schmidt were sharp in the wrong way for this viewer. I hope Louis Begley got a nice check out of the sale of the latter, though.

                • Erik Loomis says:

                  Yeah, Payne is a fine director but his overall work is kind of disappointing. The Descendants was, like the rest of his movies, fine. Not great. Fine. Well-made. Kind of interesting. Not much more.

            • Marek says:

              Loved the Descendants, thought Moneyball was worth watching but (and I can’t remember if this was true of the book as well; I doubt it) it somehow failed to mention the awesome pitching the Athletics had while they were playing Scott Hatteburg.

          • Greg says:

            A Better Life did get recognition. It was just nominated for Best Actor.

      • Erik Loomis says:

        Those words about Brokeback Mountain make no sense.

  17. Dave says:

    I expect SEK will be here any minute to defend the movie, Foer, or both.

  18. Ronnie P says:

    I saw the film, and it’s much darker than you guys are giving it credit for. The trick ending was pretty much stolen from that Twilight Zone episode, where the woman wishes her dead son would return. Without giving away to much, the ending was much gorier than I’d thought.

  19. Anderson says:

    Oh wow – I went to Wikipedia to see how the movie ends, and found this, which I paste here ’cause it ain’t gonna stay there for long:

    At the end of the movie, Oskar is sitting atop a large rock, when all of a sudden he observes a steady increase in the amplitude of waves hitting the shore. When he looks out to see the source of the disruption, he notices a man swimming, wearing a large harness, dragging an island toward the New York shore. When the swimmer gets close to Oskar, he notices the swimmer is actually his missing father. He was dragging the sixth New York borough back to New York. He tells Oskar his story of how he survived on the new borough, and how he jumped out of a building on 9/11 onto the fleeting island. Oskar uses his cell phone in his backpack to quickly phone his mother. When Sandy Bullock gets to the scene, the couple reunites with a romantic high five. They both swim to the borough being carried by Thomas Schell, discover a large house he built, and sail away on the sixth New York borough, only to live happily ever after, with no problems ever happening again to that poor boy, Oskar. Max von Syndow watches from the shore, a smile across his withered old face, and he breaks into a classy shuffle to celebrate. John Goodman witnesses all of this, and shoots them the bird in anger.

  20. virag says:

    jsf is an idiot-cousin of the heartbreaking work of infinite self-reference/mcsweeney’s guy.

    frankly, i had no idea that this vile film was based on a jsf book. that’s so bad. the commercials alone for this movie make you wish for some sort of painful divine smiting.

  21. partisan says:

    The oscars make a lot of stupid choices. But preferring Gandhi and The English Patient to E.T. and Fargo are not among them. On the other hand preferring Terms of Endearment to The Right Stuff isn’t nearly as indefensible as failing to nominate Fanny and Alexander altogether. And then there’s their justification for giving Elia Kazan a special oscar in 1998: “We’re so sorry that the people whose lives you helped wreck said nasty things about you. Here’s another oscar to go with the two you already have. We could have given your special oscar to Robert Bresson. But do we really want to put such a high value on integrity?”

  22. Regardless of one’s feelings about the trilogy as a whole, the Oscar reception is a mess.

    Fellowship of the Ring is the best of the three, and >>>> the execrable Beautiful Mind.

    Two Towers is the second-best and >> the mediocre Chicago.

    Return of the King is the most problematic as a film, and plausibly < either Lost In Translation or Mystic River.

    • Tcaalaw says:

      Thank you. I often feel like I’m the only person who thinks LotR:FotR is a better film than either of the sequels.

    • wengler says:

      It’s all one story so it doesn’t really matter too much. The fact that Jackson switched Shelob from Two Towers to ROTK, is bothersome though, because it just extends the Frodo scenes in ROTK. And everytime Elijah Wood got camera time the film came to a screeching halt.

    • actor212 says:

      As has been pointed out upthread, the Academy was going to discount the first two films because they knew there had to be a trilogy in the works. My suspicion was that FotR sold the Oscar two years in advance, and they were merely waiting for the end to award it.

      • TL says:

        Yes, the Academy basically had to make sure that Jackson could stick the landing, lest they look foolish in awarding the first movie of a trilogy that turned out poorly. Cf., The Matrix.

  23. mike in dc says:

    Michael Fassbender got screwed by the Academy more than his character did in Shame.

  24. mark k says:

    Great stuff from most everyone. So glad to know there are still so many people out there with taste and brains. Never understood the appeal of either S. Bullock or Julia Roberts (unless its because women like/have the hots for them). They can’t act and are not that great looking.

    Foreign films today are, imo, so much better and mostly for a adult audiences. Would love to see another thread on favorite foreign films. Thanks to Netfilx, I’ve been catching a bunch of good ones here in the hellhole of the Bible Belt. Recently watched Army of Crime and am really enjoying some others like, for intellectual reasons, seeing Ludivine Sagniers body at least once a week.

    • Ed says:

      Yes, both women are popular with female fans and owe some of their longevity to that fact (as does Meryl Streep) – male moviegoers tend to be more fickle when it comes to female stars. But certainly both of them have brought in men as well – one of the elements that made Roberts the most bankable female star since Mary Pickford. The looks of Ms. Bullock and Ms. Roberts may not be up to your exacting standards of hotcha, but both of them are good actors. It’s difficult to get recognition for good performances in romantic comedies (and genres favored by women tend to get less respect).

  25. Anderson says:

    “Anderson with a tired recitation about how the source material is unfilmable.”

    Uh, no. Anderson with a comment about how the book was EASILY filmable, had Jackson only cared to do so.

    And yes, the Fellowship film was the least bad. Didn’t know that was even controversial.

  26. Michael Drew says:

    Awesome that it got nominated over Tinker Tailor, but I suppose how many other movies could you say that about as well?

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  28. […] I was criticized in comments for assuming that the instantly forgotten but Oscar (TM) nominated film version of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close would live down to the ghastly source material based on the […]

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