Whenever you hear that a film directed by Stephen Daldry (see: Billy Elliot, The Hours, and The Reader) is rolling into theaters soon, you know it’s officially awards season. That’s once again the case this year, with Daldry’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close adaptation due to hit theaters on Christmas Day.

An official trailer has been released for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – and, suffice to say, it looks to be yet another (gooey?) heart-warming melodrama that could snag Daldry a fourth Oscar nod (if not more).

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s best-selling novel of the same name. It was scripted by Oscar-winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and features Oscar-winners like Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock as members of its cast.

Here is the official synopsis for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close:

Oskar (Thomas Horn) is convinced that his father (Hanks), who died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, has left a final message for him hidden somewhere in the city. Feeling disconnected from his grieving mother (Bullock) and driven by a relentlessly active mind that refuses to believe in things that can’t be observed, Oskar begins searching New York City for the lock that fits a mysterious key he found in his father’s closet. His journey through the five boroughs takes him beyond his own loss to a greater understanding of the observable world around him.

Now check out the Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close trailer (via iTunes Movie Trailers) below:

While Daldry’s previous films generally played well with members of the Academy, they were often criticized for being overly saccharine and emotionally-manipulative – as opposed to genuinely moving. Seeing how Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close appears to share several elements – like the precocious young boy protagonist or the melancholic subject matter – with the director’s previous efforts, it’s unlikely that any of Daldry’s detractors are going to be won over by his latest film. The same goes for those who feel that Roth’s screenplays tend to fall more on the excessively maudlin side.

This Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close trailer is a good litmus test, in case you’re not sure which side of the fence you fall on. If the mixture of heartstring-tugging imagery and U2’s “Where The Streets Have No Name” causes you to get a lump in your throat, then you’ll probably find the film to be a sincere and moving drama. If you roll your eyes at the shots of Horn’s character smashing things in despair – or the scenes where New Yorkers appear to be emotionally-moved by the troubled boy’s pluck – then you’ll probably think Extremely Loud is… well, extremely corny.

Side note – does the “boy whose recently-deceased father leaves him a mysterious key” angle of the Extremely Loud plot remind anyone else of the setup for Martin Scorsese’s upcoming 3D film, Hugo?

Moving on – check out the Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close poster below:

The majority of film buffs/critics definitely enjoy both Daldry and Roth’s breed of cinematic art (as evidenced by their combined total of award nominations/wins), so Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close should do well this awards season. Besides, it is nice to see that Daldry looks to approach the subject of 9/11 with a more sensitive hand here – unlike previous releases that exploited the catastrophic event as a plot point for cheap dramatic effect (Remember Me, we’re looking at you…).

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is slated for theatrical release in the U.S. on December 25th, 2011.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers