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Louder Than Bombs 

Wednesday, Apr 20 2016
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Joachim Trier's Louder Than Bombs is a moody and riveting study of loss. Two years after the death of war photographer Isabelle (Isabelle Huppert) in a car crash, her surviving family is still trying to pick up the pieces of their lives; widower Gene (Gabriel Byrne) is unable to communicate with sullen teenager Conrad (Devin Druid), while unfaithful older son Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) is a new father in a marriage he feels trapped by. Meanwhile, Isabelle's former colleague Richard (David Straithairn) is planning to reveal to the world that Isabelle's death was suicide, not an accident. For as much as it's about its three male leads coping with their inability to communicate,Louder Than Bombsalso makes plenty of room for its female cast, including flashbacks of Isabelle from multiple perspectives — none of which may be true — while the perpetually underappreciated Amy Ryan finally gets a deeper part than just The Wife of The Guy. Most importantly, an arc involving the awkward Conrad's crush on his classmate Melanie (Ruby Jerins) could have gone south in countless ways, but concludes in one of the most touching and emotionally honest scenes you'll see this year, making Louder Than Bombs a "dysfunctional family gets together and confronts their trauma" picture that gets it right.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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