A strong resume can be both a blessing and a curse.  For director Stephen Daldry it's been just the latter.  Unless, of course, he lives under the pressure of having every two of his three films nominated for the Academy Award for best picture and personally being nominated in the best director category for all of them.  Something tells us that with the constant stream of good source material at his hands, he doesn't.

Daldry is the man behind "Billy Elliott," "The Hours" and "The Reader" and this Dec. he's reuniting with producer Scott Rudin to adapt Jonathan Safran Foer's 2005 novel "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."  The film focuses on Oskar (Thomas Horn), a New York City boy who is convinced his father (Tom Hanks), who died in the terrorist attacks on 9/11, has left a final message for him hidden somewhere in the city.  As his mother grieves (Sandra Bullocks' first role since her Oscar winning turn in "The Blind Side"), he begins a journey through New York hoping to find the lock that fits the mysterious key he found in his father's closet. The cast also includes James Gandolfini, Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright, Max von Sydow and Zoe Caldwell.

This touching image below if the first official still from "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."  A movie that we'll no doubt be discussing quite a bit throughout the upcoming awards season.

"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" opens in limited release on Christmas Day.  It expands nationally on Jan. 20.


Tom Hanks and Thomas Horn in the first image from EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOUSE