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Louder Than Bombs - Story About Coping With Grief

Louder than bombs is 2015 directed by Joachim Trier, starring the amazing Isabelle Huppert, Gabriel Byrne who plays her husband Gene, Jesse Eisenberg in the role of Isabelle's oldest son Jonah, and Devin Druid who portrays Conrad, Isabelle's youngest son.

Three years before the events in the movie, we are introduced to Isabelle Reed (played by Isabelle Huppert), a famed war photographer, who died in a car crash. In the present, an upcoming exhibition of her work and an article about her life and death is being released, putting her widower, Gene (played by Gabriel Byrne), and their two sons Conrad (played by Devin Druid) and Jonah (played by Jesse Eisenberg) under the same roof for the first time in years.

Conrad is angry, disruptive, and suicidal, often fantasizing about his mother and her death and obsessing over one of his female classmates. Jonah, Isabelle and Gene's oldest child, come down to visit his father and Conrad and also go over his mother's work before it is donated to a museum. Though Jonah appears to his father to be the normal, stable one, he refuses to believe that his mother died by suicide and censors her work, deleting some of her photographs which appear to show her having an affair. 

Jonah and Conrad bond, with Conrad allowing Jonah to read portions of his diary which reveal the explanations behind his seemingly odd and random behavior. Conrad wants to give the diary to Melanie, the girl he has a crush on, but Jonah dissuades him from doing so telling him she will laugh at him. Conrad ignores his brother's advice and prints out his diary, leaving it on Melanie's stoop.

Gene gives Isabelle's work to her old friend Richard, who is the one writing the article, permitting him to curate her work to see what is personal and what is not. Richard reveals to him that he and Isabelle had an ongoing affair overseas but that she was never interested in continuing the affair at home.

Richard's article comes out earlier than expected and Jonah takes the news poorly. As Gene hasn't had the chance to tell Conrad yet he repeatedly tries to contact him, but Conrad ignores him and goes to a party where he can hang out with Melanie. As she is drunk he walks her home. Returning to his own home Conrad asks his father if what the paper said about Isabelle is true. He accepts the news graciously but tells his father that Jonah is handling the situation badly.

Without giving away the end of the movie, Louder than Bombs is a beautiful story about grief, and coping with the loss of someone we love. Particularly the relationship between Gene and his two sons who struggle to show any emotion after their mother's death, and him trying to repair his relationship with them.