Louder Than Bombs

Norwegian director Joachim Trier's first English-language film centres on a family trying to cope with the loss of their mother.

Film Review by Patrick Gamble | 15 Feb 2016
Film title: Louder than Bombs
Director: Joachim Trier
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne, Isabelle Huppert, Devin Druid, Rachel Brosnahan, Ruby Jerins, Megan Ketch, David Strathairn, Amy Ryan
Release date: 22 Apr
Certificate: 15

Memories can be distorted to reframe the past in a more favourable light, but what happens when the truth becomes unavoidable? Joachim Trier’s Louder than Bombs opens with the birth of Jonah's son, but is far more concerned with death. Jonah (Eisenberg) is the son of famed war photographer Isabelle Reed (Huppert), who died two years ago in a car crash. His brother Conrad (Druid), only 12 at the time, doesn’t know her death was a suicide. It’s a secret that threatens to rupture the family’s delicate dynamic once revealed in a forthcoming New York Times article.

Perceiving memory as something malleable, Trier’s delicate use of flashbacks and sound allows the narrative to inch along like a cortège, beautifully conceptualising how the mind seeks to reorganise the entropy of memories into a satisfying narrative. As the membrane between reality and fabrication becomes perilously thin, Isabelle’s aura adopts greater significance for each family member, with Louder than Bombs effortlessly evolving into an abstract, yet emotionally intelligent ghost story.

Louder than Bombs screens in Glasgow Film Festival: 21 Feb, GFT, 5.35pm | 22 Feb, GFT, 3.30pm

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