Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oskar Schell Goes to the Movies

I read Jonathan Safran Foer's novel "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" four and a half years ago. I absolutely loved it. I even posted a review on this blog (which I don't remember ever doing with other books), and discussed the question of whether or not Oskar is autistic (I said no, most commenters said yes). For some reason, the latter post is the most popular one on my blog, with people reaching it through Google searches every day. Apparently, the question is on the minds of many (though it seems like often it has been assigned to them for a school paper).

Now there's a movie adaptation out, which is even nominated for a Best Film Oscar. I have only seen a couple of trailers, since the movie itself hasn't opened in Israel yet. The reviews are mixed, with some critics saying it is a manipulative weepy.

From the trailer and other things I've read, the movie has done away with any ambiguity about autism/Asperger's, and even mentions that Oskar was assessed for Asperger's but the diagnosis was inconclusive. I'm not too happy about that. I think it would have been better to let moviegoers decide for themselves, just like the novels lets readers decide for themselves. Of course, I have no way of knowing whether or not that hurts the film.

I'll certainly write about the movie again after I see it.

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