Jesse Eisenberg Grieves in the ‘Louder Than Bombs’ Trailer
English-language debuts from foreign-language auteurs are always a dicey proposition. In the best cases, the director maintains his or her artistic signature and imposes it on actors domestic audiences recognize in language we can speak, creating a more immediately affecting experience — 2014’s Snowpiercer is a fine example, bringing South Korean master Bong Joon-ho to American audiences.
Too often, however, what makes a foreign director’s filmography great can get lost in translation, or snuffed out by overbearing studio heads. With his latest film Louder Than Bombs, Norwegian talent Joachim Trier makes the jump, working in English with such familiar faces as Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne, and Devin Druid. (You know, from the episode of Louie where he smokes pot as a teenager?) Having caught the picture back in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, I come today bearing good news: Louder Than Bombs is the real deal.
The newly released trailer embedded above communicates both modes in which this film works: Louder Than Bombs relays a penetrating family drama ignited by the possibly suicidal death of the matriarch, an esteemed photographer played in flashbacks by Isabelle Huppert. Her widower (Byrne) and elder son (Eisenberg) debate how best to tell the younger son (Druid) what really happened, but he’s got plenty of dysfunction all his own to contend with. Interspersed within this drama of household unrest are passages of ravishing lyrical beauty, from the slow-motion crystalline car crash to an unexpectedly moving scene in which young Druid watches from afar as cheerleaders lead their cheers. Equal parts teen coming-of-age drama, grief drama, and moving poeticism, Louder Than Bombs isn’t likely to win any awards, but still deserves to be seen by as many moviegoers as possible. Trier’s latest comes to American theaters in limited release on April 8.