Awards pundits have kept an eye out for December's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and with good reason: Its director, Stephen Daldry, is three for three when it comes to Oscar nominations (for Billy Elliot, The Hours, and The Reader), it stars Oscar winners Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, and it was scripted by Forrest Gump Oscar winner Eric Roth based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. Not a bad pedigree, eh? And now that the trailer is out, does it scream "Oscar" like that list of heavyweight names? Not quite — instead, with its uplifting sweep and U2 soundtrack, it dodges high-falutin' awards artsy-fartsiness and makes a big bid for the mainstream, though maybe that kind of hard sell is necessary to put over a plot as tricky as this one, where Hanks perishes on 9/11, leaving behind the widow Bullock and a young son who journeys all over Manhattan to find the lock that fits a key Hanks left behind. At the very least, it confirms that between this movie and Hugo, we're gonna have a lot of Oscar-friendly directors shooting little boys with magic keys this season. (How come girls never get cool cinematic keys? Instead, the only magic thing they ever seem to share is a pair of miraculously fitting blue jeans.)
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