The much buzzed about film "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," starring Academy Award winners Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, is nominated for two Oscars, but failed to nab the "Family Approved" seal by the pro-family movie review group Dove Foundation.
While the film, adapted from the best-selling novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, has heart-tugging scenes of a young boy dealing with the grief of losing his beloved father during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it also has language problems that troubled the movie rating non-profit.
In a statement, the Dove Foundation says, "It is regrettable that two crudities and strong utterances of language prevent us from awarding the movie our Dove 'Family-Approved' Seal."
The foundation noted that it approved of several scenes, including a scene where one character remarks to 9-year-old main character Oskar Schell about people being more like letters than numbers because letters tell a story, and everyone has a story to share. Unfortunately, the heavy premise and adult language dissuaded the Dove Foundation from giving it a family approval stamp.
"Extreme Loud & Incredibly Close" is about Oskar Schell discovering a key in his deceased father's belongings that sets him off on an urgent search throughout New York City for information about it. It's during this urgent search for answers that Oskar crosses paths with five other people, who are surviving and dealing with their own set of grief. During this adventure, Oskar tries to unlock the mystery to the loud, jumbled, and dangerous world that surrounds him.
Dr. Ted Baehr, an American media critic and chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission, clarified to The Christian Post on Monday that "just because a movie is Christian doesn't mean it's not dealing with a tough topic matter."
But he also noted that "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" isn't for children.
"It's a natural human emotion to get angry. And feeling alone and abandoned isn't an easy topic," Baehr said.
Tom Hanks shared that he was immediately attracted to the film after reading the script.
"It was the easiest thing in the world for me to want to do this – as soon as I read it, there was not even any question," Hanks says in a statement. "It becomes a very personal, intimate story of a kid trying to make sense in his own way of a nonsensical world."
The film embodies the essence of a father captured in time by his own son, a fleeting memory the young child is not willing to let go of so easily.
"It's too bad we can't award our Dove Seal to this sensitive and emotional film which will take viewers back to that period some ten years ago. But the language throws a monkey wrench into the mix and prevents us from being able to recommend this one for the family," the Dove Foundation says.