Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Now on Amazon Prime: Louder Than Bombs (2016)

Louder Than Bombs movie poster
Louder Than Bombs (2015) - Directed by Joachim Trier; Written by Trier and Eskil Vogt; Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne, Isabelle Huppert, Devin Druid, Amy Ryan, David Strathairn.

By Kenny Howell

The up-and-coming Danish director Joachim Trier makes his English language debut in this wonderful family drama.

For a film called Louder Than Bombs, Trier is noticeably quiet, as he was in his two previous, terrific films Reprise and Oslo, August 31st. Trier is contemplative, which some deem slow, but I see as a way to really flesh out his characters.

This film follows a family of a father and two sons who are dealing with the death of the matriarch of the family, a famed war photographer named Isabelle. Gene (Byrne), the father of the family, is having trouble connecting with the youngest son, Conrad (Druid). Conrad is acting out with bizarre behavior, obsessed a bit with death and other dark subjects. His older son, Jonah (Eisenberg), is a recently hired professor and a new dad. He comes home for the weekend and the trio hash out the problems that existed before the death of the mother, things partially unknown to the children, but also the further way things have been fractured since the tragedy.

Trier could have gone the way of most family dramas these days which includes lots of yelling and over the top declarations. Instead, Trier lets things bubble underneath, jumps in and out of time to show how things got to where they are, and even fantasy sequences to show where characters are in their heads. Even an actor like Eisenberg, who usually has a manic energy (not a criticism just his stye), is controlled and does effecting work.

Trier creates a deeply textured film that shows if you just take the time, let things play out as it should, you can hit all the right notes.

Louder Than Bombs is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rating: ***1/2

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