New trailer accompanied by Cannes Film Festival review, posted on 5.18: To me Joachim Trier‘s Louder Than Bombs, an ennui-laden, Euro-style Ordinary People stuffed with the usual suburban, middle-class downer intrigues and featuring one of the most reprehensible teenagers in the history of motion pictures, felt contrived and gently infuriating. Too many aspects felt wrong and miscalculated or even hateful, and once the tally reached critical levels I began to sink into my usual exasperation (faint moaning, leaning forward, checking my watch).
“Uh-oh, this isn’t working,” I began saying to myself at around the ten-minute mark. Later on I was saying, “Wow, this really isn’t working.” Later on I was muttering worse things.
Bombs is about a father and two sons grappling with the death of their wife/mother, and the dysfunctional behavior that emerges in her absence. Dad, a Long Island-based high-school teacher, is played by aging, overly sensitive, watery-eyed Gabriel Byrne. Son #1, a mild-mannered college prof and mystifyingly irresponsible young dad, is played by Jesse Eisenberg, wearing a bizarre straight-hair wig instead of his usual curlies. And son #2, the above-mentioned demon from Hades, is played by Devin Druid.
Isabelle Huppert plays the dead wife/mom — a renowned, N.Y. Times-endorsed war photographer who died some months ago in a local highway accident.