Rated: R for language, some sexual content, nudity and violent images Reviewed by: Jim Release date: April 8, 2016 Released by: The Orchard
A new independent drama from Danish bred, Norwegian native Joachim Trier (a distant relative of renegade Lars) is a distinctive, if unspectacular and slightly elongated English-language debut.
Louder Than Bombs spins its intriguing if rather measured storyline (collaborated on by Eskil Vogt) around the tragic accident of a war photographer, Isabelle (the wonderful Isabelle Huppert), and a memorial of her work a couple years after her passing that reunites her family.
The youngest son Conrad (Devin Druid) is quite the loner and into video games while teacher dad Gene (Gabriel Byrne) welcomes home eldest Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) who's about to become a new father himself.
The film interpretatively has the verve to cast a spell from the unique experiences encountered and the difficulties of personal interaction with a certain clandestineness intertwined. So, the conflict is derived how this reunion evolves with the actors really embracing Trier's vision to enlighten the material in unexpected ways.
Perhaps the explosiveness from a mindfully modulated "Bombs" (considering the internal strife and levity) comes from the thoughts and subconscious. Notably, the oddly compelling mental diversions and revelations anecdotal from Conrad as the lines of communications are there but blurred in a sense.
Trier shows much promise behind the camera and has a trusting partner in Vogt that especially allows Eisenberg (more impressive in a risk-taking way than in D.C. Comics global blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) plenty of latitude that shows what he's capable of doing (if one recalls films like Noah Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale).
Maybe the last act of Louder isn't as dramatically effective as Trier meant it to be with David Strathairn, Amy Ryan, and Rachel Brosnahan (as Erin, Jonah's former girlfriend) admirable in secondary, sporadic appearances, but the riveting manner of scene presentation reflects a welcoming daring and much promise.
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