This one is so real it hurts, perhaps because it is told through a child’s eyes.  Every terrorist should experience watching this story.  My emotions went through the whole spectrum — crying to laughing.  One scene showed how fearful the subway terminal was to Oskar (played by Thomas Horn), the boy the story evolves around and how the cap his Grandmother bought him after 9/11 helped him survive his new world without his father.  The scene demonstrates comedy is the funniest when it connects to our fears.  Oskar is following the advise of the “renter” (played by Max von Sydow) in his grandmother’s home who wrote, “Sometimes we have to face our fears.”

Life is an adventure and the journey is to find “keys” to make it work.  Oskar finds a key he must connect to the clue word “Black”.  In this journey, Oskar finds the characteristics he misses in his father (played by Tom Hanks).  Playing the Oxymoron Game with the renter “felt like I had someone to talk to.”  All of us are looking for the familiar in others, which may be why we hate our differences; thus creating frustration in our disappointment.  As when Oskar finds out who is his dad’s father, he yells, “In fact, I should be saying thank you!  My dad was the greatest dad in the world because you were the worst!”

“Maybe he(the dad) kept saying it(let him discover answers) to give me time to be brave enough to pick up(the clues).” — Oskar.  This addresses our greatest fear: that we are not able to be brave or whatever to the people who matter most to us and they won’t forgive us for our short-comings.  The mother, Linda (played by Sandra Bullock) always knew what and where Oskar was and portrayed what any good parent does.  Oskar was blessed with both parents who lovingly challenged him which teaches one of life’s greatest lessons: “As much as I want him to, my dad is never coming back.  And I thought I couldn’t live without him but now I know I can.  I think that would make my dad proud which is all I ever wanted.”

There are several key players in this movie.  The two “actors” portraying the Black couple are two favorites: Abby Black (Viola Davis) and William Black (Jeffrey Wright).

Author’s Note:  This is a message to all those who lost anyone in 9/11.  If we could be with you now, we would hug you and say how much we admire that somehow you have gotten through what hopefully is the worst thing in your life.  Everyday we remember how precious life is.  Remember people who are unkind to us may not be able to cope with trials of life — theirs or others.  May the Lord bless each of you and reward you with peace and unconditional love.