Reviewed May 01, 2012
Kent Dempsey’s review:
Emotionally draining, but also emotionally manipulative, which I hate, and heavy-handed in its execution.
Frustrating, considering the fantastic performances on display.
Thomas Horn is amazing (showing Scott Rudin has a knack for his work, plucking Horn from the relative obscurity of Teen Jeopardy, into this his first movie role), as the central protagonist, who's clearly somewhere on the autism spectrum (much less ambiguously than in Jonathan Safran Foer's book from which the film is adapted), and seems to've intended to be perceived as insightful and endearingly eccentric but just comes off as irritatingly precocious much of the time.
Sandra Bullock turns in an even more impressive performance than her Oscar-winning turn in 'The Blind Side', and Tom Hanks perfectly portrays the father lost on 9-11, so beloved by his son, and Hanks makes it easy to see why.
Max von Sydow is very much deserving of the Oscar nomination he received, saying so much in his performance that includes not a single spoken word, but the film is far less deserving of its Oscar nomination for best film. Shame; the book deserved better.