Awards season is upon us and few movies are being more blatantly marketed to appeal to Oscar voters than Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, an adaptation of author Jonathan Safran Foer’s best-selling novel that was directed by Academy Award-nominee Stephen David Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader). Foer’s literature was scripted into film form by Oscar-winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and stars two big-name thespians who also have little golden man statuettes on their bookshelf – namely, Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.

Today we have the second trailer for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; like its predecessor, this new theatrical promo is a patchwork of tear-jerking moments and dramatic scenes from the film (or, if you will, “Oscar clips”).

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is narrated by young Oskar Schell (newcomer Thomas Horn), a precocious nine-year-old boy whose thirst for exploring and learning about the world is encouraged by his kindly father, Thomas (Hanks). Disaster strikes when Thomas is killed in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, leaving his son and wife (Bullock) emotionally-shattered and unable to connect with one another.

Oskar therafter sets out on a quest to find the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his dad – a journey that not only leads him to encounter many a lost soul in New York City, but one which could possibly provide some closure for Oskar and his grieving mother.

Check out the second Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close trailer (pun not intended) below:

Many moviegoers will likely note the narrative similarities between Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Martin Scorsese’s newly-released (acclaimed) 3D flick, Hugo. The two are not only both based on popular literature and feature a prestigious collection of talent, working both in front of and behind the camera; they also deal with similarly heavy themes relating to life, death, and the grieving process that people of different ages undergo in the wake of a terrible personal loss. Obviously, there are many other striking differences between the films (in terms of setting, atmosphere, and visual style) but additional comparisons between the two are bound to be made.

However, judging by early footage, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is working much harder to pull on moviegoers’ heartstrings; enough so that that the film will likely come off as hokey schmaltz to some, genuinely-moving and tender melodrama to others. Daldry’s previous directorial efforts have often prompted those sort of love/hate reactions, but they generally play well enough with Academy voters to snag more than their fair share of award nods.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is being brought to life by quite the decorated group of thespians, including supporting players like Max von Sydow (The Exorcist), Viola Davis (The Help), Jeffrey Wright (Syriana), and John Goodman, among others. Whether or not they prevent the film from playing out as manipulative Oscar bait, that remains to be seen…

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is scheduled for a limited (Oscar-qualifying) theatrical release on December 25th, 2011. It will expand wide on January 20th, 2012.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers