Almost lost in the flurry of attention grabbed by The Artist at this year's Oscars, fellow nominee for Best Film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close nevertheless boasted an adaptation of an almost impossible to film novel, a star cast in Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and Max Von Sydow (also Oscar-nominated) and the emotional story of a child struggling to find peace after the calamitous events of 11th September 2001 in New York. Here's the blurb...
Eleven-year-old Oskar Schell is an exceptional child: amateur inventor, francophile and pacifist who sits somewhere on the autism scale. After the tragic and disturbing death of his father, who died in the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11, Oskar finds a mysterious key that belonged to his father with a single cryptic name written on it. His inquisitive nature and inventive imagination sends him on an urgent, secret search for answers.
And that means... a child star, this time in the form of Thomas Horn, as the troubled, haunting protagonist. To mark today's release on DVD and Blu-Ray (along with our exclusive behind-the-scenes clip above), here's a quick catalogue of fellow child stars. Who knows where Horn will end up on the spectrum - somewhere between Drew Barrymore and Ricky Schroder?
See if you agree with our conversion rating of each...
HENRY THOMAS <strong>Then: </strong>As little Elliott, who famously took ET flying on a bicycle in the hit film about the Extra Terrestrial (30 years old today). (Picture: Amblin). <strong>Now:</strong> An actor and a musician living in LA, most recent film appearance was in The Last Ride, and plays with the band Farspeaker. <strong>Conversion rating: 4</strong>
<strong>CHRISTIAN BALE:</strong> <strong>Then:</strong> In Spielberg's epic <em>Empire of the Sun</em>, Bale shone as the little boy left behind by his parents during the fall of Singapore. He almost single-handedly carried the film, a sign of things to come. <strong>Now:</strong> An Oscar winner for <em>The Fighter</em>, and the Dark Knight is shortly to rise once more - enough said. <strong>Conversation Rating: 10</strong>
JAMIE BELL <strong>Then:</strong> Took a pair of pumps, made a few leaps and made ballet cool for boys in Stephen Daldry's BAFTA winning film. <strong>Now:</strong> Has carved out a life in Hollywood, working for Steven Spielberg in <em>Tintin</em>, and for Peter Jackson in <em>King Kong.</em> Reported to be engaged to Evan Rachel Wood. <strong>Conversation rating: 7 </strong>
DREW BARRYMORE <strong>Then:</strong> Screamed her head off when confronted by a wide-eyed alien, but went on her own galactic trip for a few years after that. <strong>Now:</strong> Consistent rather than spectacular on screen, but runs her own production company with hits under its belt including the Charlie's Angels big screen franchise. Very recently remarried, and expecting her first child. <strong>Conversation rating: 8</strong>
DANIEL RADCLIFFE <strong>Then:</strong> Was plucked from a choice of thousands to play the boy wizard in a series of eight films, in what turned out to be the most lucrative film franchise ever. <strong>Now: </strong>Admitted to letting his drinking get out of hand last year, but has since converted his juvenile success with a respected turn in <em>The Woman in Black</em>. Too early to tell if he'll stay the course, but the harbingers are good. <strong>Conversation rating: 7 and a half, thus far</strong>
SCOTT BAIO <strong>Then</strong>: Cute as a button, Scott Baio took the title role in Alan Parker's spectacular custard pie-fest Bugsy Malone, <strong>Now</strong>: Via a scene-stealing role of Chachi in Happy Days, and further US success in Charles in Charge, Baio officially became America's young male sweetheart, filling the gap left by David Cassidy. Then burst back onto TV screens five years ago with Scott Baio is 45... And Single. Has since become a husband and a father, and turns up on continuing reality TV shows. Most noted these days for his staunch right-wing politics. <strong>Conversation rating: 5</strong>
JODIE FOSTER Then: Baio's fellow Bugsy Maloner, Jodie Foster gave a turn beyond her years as the knowing Tallulah. Now: Holds a unique position within the film industry - armed with two acting Oscars (Silence of The Lambs and The Accused), and respected as a director, too. Came out publicly in the last few years, and is very politically motivated. <strong>Conversation rating: 9</strong>
RICKY SCHRODER <strong>Then</strong>: Broke everyone's hearts as the son of <em>The Champ</em>, played by Jon Voight, and then continued as a child star in <em>Silver Spoons.</em> <strong>Now</strong>: Converted to adult roles with <em>Lonesome Dove</em> and <em>NYPD Blue</em>. Now working on a reality TV project for the US Army. <strong>Conversion rating: 5</strong>
HALEY JOEL OSMENT <strong>Then</strong>: Stole the show as young Cole in M. Night Shyamalan's thriller, <em>The Sixth Sense,</em> which won him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination at the age of 11. <strong>Now:</strong> Last reported to be working on Wake the Dead, a modern day retelling of the Frankenstein story. <strong>Conversion Rating</strong>: Only four, because of the great height at which he began.
No catalogue of child stars would be complete without... MACAULAY CULKIN <strong>Then</strong>: Secured his place in Hollywood history, with a phenomenal turn as Kevin McAllister in Home Alone and its sequel. Became one of Hollywood's highest paid stars of any age with his films Richie Rich, Uncle Buck and My Girl. <strong>Now</strong>: Following theatre work, commercials, family estrangement, divorce, the loss of his friend Michael Jackson, Culkin last year featured in experimental film The Wrong Film, shot entirely on an iPhone. <strong>Conversion Rating: 2</strong>