Film Review: Louder Than Bombs

Joachim Trier is one of the most exciting and talented Scandinavian film directors of the last decade. Louder Than Bombs is only his third feature but it follows on from the highly acclaimed Reprise and Oslo, August 31st. The former is a study on young love, ambition and depression whilst the latter is a day in the life of a recovering drug addict. His latest, and first English language film, looks at the effects of grief on three male members of a family.

It has been several years since the death of Isabelle Reed (Isabelle Huppert), a famous war photographer who died in a car crash after giving up her job to be with her family. Her husband (Gabriel Byrne) and Conrad (Devin Druid), their youngest son, live together but are emotionally detached. After the birth of his first child, elder brother Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) returns home to visit, coinciding with plans by a former colleague (David Strathairn) to publish and article celebrating Isabelle’s life which rocks the family’s frail stability.

Told through the events of their current lives and flashbacks, Louder Than Bombs is a thought-provoking look at the differing aspects of loss and the damage someone’s obsession and drive can have on their loved ones. There are great performances from the three male leads and Trier wisely handles the subject of grief without recourse to melodrama or theatricals but with a studied disconnect which allows you to view its impact through the eyes of others. Louder Than Bombs is a powerful drama about love, commitment and loss.

Louder Than Bombs is out in cinemas on Friday

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