In "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," Sandra Bullock plays a woman whose husband, played by Tom Hanks, is a casualty of Sept. 11.
"Grief hurts. Grief isn't always pretty. Grief has many stages, as we learn through life," said Sandra. "But we also are fortunate enough to meet with grief counselors who worked with people that experienced something just like this."
Sandra's character is left to raise a son who was especially close to his father, and who is coping with the loss in his own way.
In real life, Sandra was in New York when 9/11 hit.
"And we saw it. We saw the second place," said Sandra. "We saw the people and we saw everything so I got to see an amazing city pull together and try to figure out what the situation was and trying to help each other."
As part of her research, Sandra listened to voice messages of people trapped in the towers.
"And I was blown away by the calm and the hope and the inspiration they left behind for those who they knew were going to hear it," said Sandra. "I don't know how in that time they were able to say, 'I'm going to leave a gift behind.' And they did. And that, to me, is what -- it just made you so proud of humanity and kindness and love, you know, that it did restore your faith in people."
Sandra's own life is filled with kindness and love thanks to her young son, Louis.
"He calls me 'Mama,' and it gives you a sense of power," said Sandra. "It breaks your heart and opens it up in the best way. It is astounding."
"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" opened Christmas Day.