A nine-year-old amateur inventor, Francophile, and pacifist searches New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
A troubled young boy, Oskar, is trying to cope with the loss of his father. Oskar starts lashing out at his mother and the world. Until a year later, he discovers a mysterious key in his father's belongings and embarks on a scavenger hunt to find the matching lock, just as he used to when his father was alive. On this journey he is bound to meet a lot of people and learn a lot about himself and his family, but will he ever find the lock? Written by
Max von Sydow turned down the role of Hal in Beginners (2010) (eventually taken by his co-star in Skyrim Christopher Plummer) in favor of playing a mute in this film. Both men were Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actor for their performances and Plummer won. See more »
In one scene where Oskar and The Renter discuss 'the search', Oskar wears a turquoise hooded sweater embroidered with a small "Nike 6.0" logo (at 01:13:08; left chest). Nike did not release their "Nike 6.0" line until 2011. See more »
There are more people alive now than have died in all of human history, but the number of dead people is increasing. One day, there isn't going to be any room to bury anyone anymore. So, what about skyscrapers for dead people, that are built down. They could be underneath the skyscrapers for living people, that are built up. We could bury people 100 floors down. And a whole dead world could be underneath the living one.
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This movie will stay with me for the rest of my days.
At thirty minutes in I was wondering who would be the first to leave the small audience in the cinema. By the end of this movie I, and the few others, simply sat with our metaphorical mouths agape at the impact of what we had just seen. A slow, meandering, and with hindsight, entirely necessary beginning gives way to a riveting and gripping story. A story which you would expect to bring you to tears (and it will for some) but is ultimately about triumph. It may appear to be a story about 9/11 and such was the enormity of that event that it would be easy to suggest that this is just an excellently acted and well-crafted story about that day. That would be to undersell this movie. 9/11 is just the vehicle which carries the message of how our everyday, minor irritations with other people and our general lives are simply unimportant in comparison to the reality that most people are just trying to do their best in our jobs, our marriages and in our relationships. We are imperfect and the enormity of 9/11 hammered that home. These couple of hours repeats the exercise. But this movie does more than use the day's story in such a simplistic way. Rather, it weaves the tragedy into the story of lives that are already living with sadness and it allows those participants to view their personal tragedies in the context of the much bigger one. To use the "device" of a compulsive child (what a performance!)forces us voyeurs to focus more clearly on the everyday minutiae which both he and we come to see as insignificant. A wonderful experience...this movie will stay with me for the rest of my days.
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