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Directed by Joachim Trier (relative to Lars Van Trier), Louder than Bombs is an emotional story focusing on Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg), the older son of Gene Reed (Gabriel Byrne) whose wife was killed in a car accident. Jonah is distant with his father and younger brother Conrad (Devin Druid) who has become reclusive and introverted after his mother died. The family tries to comes together on the three-year anniversary of the accident for a gallery in celebration of her famed war photography, forced to face some truths and try to reconcile the chasms between them.
The trailer is heavily stylized and nuanced, moody and properly unsettling, revealing some great work by Trier. Eisenberg, who is most gifted in these types of roles (The Squid and the Whale) looks to carry most of the film. It’s good to see Byrne back in a headlining role but it’s the haunting, unnerving stare of Isabelle Huppert that is most intriguing. While it appears she dies early, her presence is strong though the trailer and certainly in the film’s story. And it’s the revelation of so much in the trailer that is both worrisome but also interesting and perhaps hints that there is much more happening here than just her accident, especially as Gene tells Jonah that it’s time he knew the ‘truth’. While there’s probably little mystery to it, more centered on the family, it hints at something darker, which is hopefully a detail we’ll discover when we watch.
Louder than Bombs opens in North America on April 8, 2016.
Joachim Trier (screenplay), Eskil Vogt (screenplay)
Amy Ryan, Jesse Eisenberg, Rachel Brosnahan, Gabriel Bryne, David Strathairn, Isabelle Huppert