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Isabelle Huppert and Gabriel Byrne in 'Louder than Bombs'

Isabelle Huppert and Gabriel Byrne in ‘Louder than Bombs’

No, sadly, Louder than Bombs isn’t a concert film or documentary about The Smiths—speaking of which, why hasn’t that happened yet? It’s a quiet but bracing character study from the underseen (so far, at least) director Joachim Trier, working with his biggest cast yet.

Louder than Bombs is opening this week. My review is at Film Journal International:

There’s probably no better sign of the West’s solipsism than the fact that after years of roiling strife in the Middle East and elsewhere, our artists and audiences seem at the moment less interested in stories about those catastrophic conflicts than stories about how they impact the Westerners who report on them. Memoirs, plays and films, from Body of an American to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, have reinvigorated the sub-genre of stories about Westerners finding meaning in exotic, faraway lands. Only now, the main character is less likely to be a do-gooder with a sense of mission than a war journalist with a long, dark streak of romantic self-destruction who is not so much reawakened by their experiences as they are traumatized and broken…

Here’s the trailer:

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