Initially, I, as other reviewers have found, felt that the title of the movie “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” had little connection, with the goings on as this story unfolded. And , this may be very true for the average viewer. However, while others may have been in awe, at so much that was going on with our lead character, and thinking it so…. eclectic; Oskar’s seemingly random thoughts and utterances may actually help explain the thought blurbs, “extremely loud & incredibly close.” These sensory excitations are probably part of his internal experiences during any number of situations during the movie; nay during a typical “day in the life of Oskar Shell”
Moreover, I pondered how many of the viewers of this movie wondered, just how unique or common school kids like “Oskar Shell”, with his sensibilities – an amalgamation of hyper-sensory, autistic tendencies and just plain “quirkyness”, mixed with extreme intelligence – are? I wonder whether viewers that are not immersed in an educational environment would think Oskar anything but, odd. Then I wondered whether most educators working in mainstream, overpopulated public schools would think they had seen a child like Oskar Shell once in a year, or once in a career, or everyday.
I know what my experience is. I work in a small progressive school with a charter for community learning and teaching the whole child. And well, over the last 8 years we have attracted large numbers of families that have kids that are on a scale with the Oskar Shell’s of the world. In fact I would say I see an “Oskar Shell” on an average of 2 or 3 per grade; kids with smarts off the charts but whose day to day existence is a challenge for them, their teachers and their families, given their “special” way of seeing, perceiving, hearing and just knowing the world.
Yep. There are many more Oskar Shell’s out there – who feel that things are too close, and incredibly loud – than many people know.