Mod­er­ately dull and ab­surdly im­plau­si­ble

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Filmreviews -

Ex­tremely Loud and In­cred­i­bly Close come off. The con­ti­nu­ity is hay­wire. The screen adap­ta­tion is com­prised mostly from un­wieldy blocks of text-to-voiceover and, in com­mon with di­rec­tor Stephen Daldry’s last out­ing, The Reader, looks far too much like posh telly, not cinema.

Pull that cam­era way, way back and keep walk­ing. ‘I FEEL her hips are a lit­tle too big.” Nadya’s fam­ily couldn’t be hap­pier when Ash­ley, an Amer­i­can scout tour­ing Siberia in search of “cute, young, not to tall, very young girls” for the Ja­panese mod­el­ling mar­ket, snaps up the 13-year-old. The teenager heads to Tokyo, where no­body greets her at the air­port. We’re glad that there are doc­u­men­tary film-mak­ers on hand to break pro­to­col and help her out.

It’s a scam, of course, but by Ash­ley’s reck­on­ing so is the en­tire pro­fes­sion. She speaks about her­self like a pimp, ca­su­ally de­scrib­ing how the girls she re­cruits go home in debt or drift into pros­ti­tu­tion.

Footage from 1999 de­picts Ash­ley’s own trau­matic time in Tokyo, but she’s far too jaded and bro­ken to break the cy­cle. “Pros­ti­tu­tion is nor­mal and maybe eas­ier than be­ing a model,” she rea­sons. “In other coun­tries pros­ti­tu­tion is not con­sid­ered a ter­ri­ble thing. I don’t re­ally ac­knowl­edge that it ex­ists.”

The di­rec­tors pa­tiently sit with Nadya and Madlen, her more ro­bust Rus­sian room­mate, as they sit in a cramped bed­sit re­al­is­ing their ter­ri­ble predica­ment. There’s no up­side to David Red­mon and Ash­ley Sabin’s dark ex­pose of fash­ion’s un­der­belly. But that’s why Girl Model de­mands to be seen.

Tom Hanks and Thomas Horn in Ex­tremely Loud and In­cred­i­bly Close

Di­rected by Stephen Daldry. Star­ring Tom Hanks, San­dra Bul­lock, Thomas Horn, Max von Sy­dow, Vi­ola Davis, John Good­man, Jef­frey Wright, Zoe Cald­well

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