I really enjoy movies about people who are searching for something, both figuratively and literally. This movie contains both. Young Oskar lost his father in 9/11. In search of a way to stay connected to his father, he goes on a systematic quest for the lock that fits a key he found in his father’s belongings. As you can imagine, the quotes that stood out to me, perfectly convey the emotion of someone desperate to find sense in a situation that didn’t make sense. Tom Hanks (Thomas) as the father, Sandra Bullock as the mother (Linda) and introducing Thomas Horn (Oskar) elevate the words to another level of emotion that you feel throughout the movie.
The flash backs of his father instilling in Oskar the need to find answers and solutions was his way of getting Oskar to interact with people, something that early on you see is very difficult for young Oskar.
“If things were easy to find, the wouldn’t be worth finding.” – Thomas
And encouraging Oskar not to get discouraged when it gets difficult.
“Another way of looking at it is, how can you ever be wrong?” – Thomas
Gives Oskar all the tools he needs to for the journey is about to embark on.
Many people encourage Oskar along the way:
“You never know what a key is going to fit. There are a million possibilities. That’s what I like about keys. They all open something.” – Lock Smith
No one is going to get in his way.
“Nothing was going to stop me. Not even me.” – Oskar
Some, appear to discourage him:
“It’s never going to make scene because it doesn’t.” – Linda
You get glimpse of just how difficult this journey is for Oskar by several rants throughout the movie. This was the most compelling and showed what he had to do to find the answer to this question:
“I count there are 472 people with the last name Black. There are 216 addresses. Some of the blacks live together, obviously. I calculated that if I go to 2 every Saturday plus holidays, minus my hamlet school plays, my minerals, coins, and comic convention, it’s going to take me 3 years to go through all of them. But that’s what I’m going to do! Go to every single person named black and find out what the key fits and see what dad needed me to find. I made the very best possible plan but using the last four digits of each phone number, I divide the people by zones. I had to tell my mother another lie, because she wouldn’t understand how I need to go out and find what the key fits and help me make sense of things that don’t even make sense like him being killed in the building by people that didn’t even know him at all! And I see some people who don’t speak English, who are hiding, one black said that she spoke to God. If she spoke to god how come she didn’t tell him not to kill her son or not to let people fly planes into buildings and maybe she spoke to a different god than them! And I met a man who was a woman who a man who was a woman all at the same time and he didn’t want to get hurt because he/she was scared that she/he was so different. And I still wonder if she/he ever beat up himself, but what does it matter?” – Oskar
Others along Oskar’s journey learned some valuable lessons as well and father son relationships are central to the plots in the movie for several characters:
“He wrote about all the things he wanted to do but didn’t and all the things he did do but, didn’t want to.” – William Black
In the end, whether he finds what he is looking for or not, Oskar and his mother become closer and realize that they can help each other remember what they lost.
“I miss his voice telling me he loves me.” – Linda “Me, too.” – Oskar
I really enjoyed the complexity of this movie, from the sub-plots, to the conflicting journey’s for the different characters and at the center is this little boy who desperately wants to stay connected to his father. It is a 9/11 movie, but the events that take place after “the worst day” are relatable to anyone who has lost someone.Based on a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer Screenplay by Eric Roth