As with his previous film, Oslo, August 31st, Joachim Trier’s finest directing moments in Louder Than Bombs come with voiceovers and memories, plus one excellent extended party sequence.
For his English language debut, the director assembles a strong cast including a soulful Gabriel Byrne – officially deserving a comeback – and the young Devin Druid, bringing an intelligent subtlety that makes his later scenes all the sweeter.
Trier’s innate feeling for the complexities of personality and memory invests this complex tapestry with moving depths and satisfyingly frustrating blocks: each character individually unknowable, fine drama emerges in their attempts to understand one another.
The unhappiness occasionally descends into old clichés of difficult people being difficult – but it’s that rare middle-class crisis so fascinatingly conceived, shot and edited that you’ll forgive it anything.
CAST: Gabriel Byrne, Jesse Eisenberg, Isabelle Huppert, Devin Druid, Amy Ryan, David Strathairn, Rachel Brosnahan
DIRECTOR: Joachim Trier
WRITERS: Joachim Trier & Eskil Vogt
SYNOPSIS: Three years after her untimely death, a conflict photographer’s (Huppert) work is to be given a major retrospective. Eldest son Jonah (Eisenberg) is brought back to the family home where he tries to reconnect with his father (Byrne) and his increasingly withdrawn younger brother (Druid), forcing each to delve deep into their memories and problems.