Final Update May 24

the awards

The Festival de Cannes Awards Ceremony was full of surprises, as usual. And it comes as no surprise, really, that Louder Than Bombs received no prize from the Official Competition Jury.

What did the film receive?

  • Some great press and many positive reviews.
  • Distribution to more than 50 countries, including distribution in the United States via The Orchard.
  • A chance to shine at the 68th Festival de Cannes as part of the Official Competition, a great honor in itself.

So, while I am tempted to pepper this last update with these guys–  sad uneasy cry angry oops — I think we all know the truth: the competition was fierce this year and director Joachim Trier will have many more films to bring to Cannes in the future.

Let’s say Congratulations to all the winners!

Thanks for reading this posting and I bid you adieu. Stay tuned for news about Louder Than Bombs here at the website!

Stella heart

1010093-gabriel-byrne-tapis-rouge-louderGabriel Byrne, our star star

Update May 23

As we wait for the Closing Ceremony and the Awards, here is another review of the film, by Serge Kaganski, translated from the French by Angelle, whom we thank! heart

Louder than Bombs is a moving family drama from the director of Oslo August 31. A family of men haunted by a mother’s death. A group portrait that shines with sensitivity.

Louder than Bombs was the title of a compilation from the Smiths, a totemic band followed by Inrocks. Maybe it also means that films are stronger than the “bombshells” going up the stairs in Dior dresses and hair by L’Oréal? Or that the torment of a teenager facing the lies of “grown-ups” is more powerful than the bombs dropped on the countries where his mother travels as a renowned photojournalist? Opening with a scene where a baby clutches his father’s index finger, this second film by Joachim Trier (Oslo August 31) reverberates around flawed family and filial relationships. [Note from Stella: this is actually Trier’s third film. His first full length feature film was Reprise].

The mother has died in a car crash (perhaps a suicide), the father is having a clandestine relationship and seeks to portray an image of the protective patriarch to his sons, the elder son is obsessed with his role as guardian of his mother’s photo archives (to the point of abandoning wife and infant) and the youngest has closed himself off in a world of video games and teenage crisis. This song of family neuroses and secrets is certainly an old refrain but Trier renews and makes it captivating through random flashbacks, where time is either expanded or concentrated, by mixing known actions and thoughts, between what really happens and what is happening only in the head of the protagonists, in between sound on or “on mute”, all of it heard through a muffled tempo heightened by an “Ambient” score. The complexities of this web show impressive virtuosity. The main subject of the film is time: the time needed to deconstruct an event (here, the premature death of a parent), to contemplate it, to decipher its iridescence, to flush out its embedded meanings. The other motif is the extreme fragility of our lives, how we balance our emotions, family ties, love, all of it built on sand which may at any time give way beneath our feet.

Remarkably written and directed with a firm hand, richly detailed and crystal clear, Louder than Bombs sometimes trawls for more and overflows its waters – scenes about the ethical quandaries of Isabelle’s work may be unnecessary or could be the subject of another film. Nevertheless, despite the heightened perceptions of these effects, Trier knows how to produce memorable images or sequences, such as the lengthy close-up on Huppert’s face, or the scene where the big brother tells his younger brother that he will never be part of the “beautiful people” at his high school, or the father’s immersion into a video game in an attempt to communicate with his taciturn son. The high level performances of Isabelle Huppert who needs no introduction, to Jesse Eisenberg with straight hair, through to Gabriel Byrne (who takes psychological punches, comparable to the real punches he took in Miller’s Crossing) and Devin Druid (who could pass for Julien Gester) opaque and moving as the stubborn and anguished teen. In line with Oslo August 31, Trier continues to see through the neurosis of the Western bourgeoisie with a mixture of pride and humility that is quite striking.


Update May 23

US distribution

Louder Than Bombs has been acquired for distribution in the United States by The Orchard!

Variety broke the story first:

The film from Norwegian director Joachim Trier premiered in competition on Monday night to strong reviews, and the Orchard beat out other distributors such as Magnolia, A24, Alchemy and Music Box, according to sources close to the talks. The movie will have a traditional theatrical release…

The Orchard, which until recently was mostly in the music distribution business, has made a big splash on the festival circuit this year. The company acquired at Sundance the raunchy comedy “The Overnight” (which opens on June 19), as well as the doc “Cartel Land” and the SXSW drama “Lamb.”

This is great news! A traditional theatrical release should ensure the film will come to theaters across the US and eventually to DVD. The Orchard has experience with music distribution, so it will be interesting to see how digital distribution and VOD for the film will be handled.

Congratulations to everyone involved with the film! We look forward to seeing it on the big screen at a neighborhood theater soon!

the-orchard-mission-statementFrom The Orchard website

the future

The Guardian informs us that Festival de Cannes has ended on a somewhat disquieting note:

The Cannes film festival has ended with a question: “Now you know, what are you going to do about it?” Such are the final words of the closing night film, Ice and the Sky, which implores its audience to recognise the urgency of action required on climate change.

The documentary wrapped up the 68th edition by foregrounding an issue so central this year it overshadowed even the debate over whether high heels should be compulsory at premieres. [Please note: this link is mine. I like the way Huffington Post covered “Heelgate”…]

Ice and the Sky, directed by The March of the Penguins’ Luc Jacquet, is a study of French glaciologist Claude Lorius, whose Antarctic research placed beyond contest the role of man in global warming.

Jacquet declared himself “impressed” Cannes had given his movie such a prominent spot in the schedule. “Showing this film in the world’s largest film festival is contributing to highlighting this huge challenge facing humanity as quickly as possible to secure its future and the future of the planet,” he said.

ice_and_the_sky-2015-artPromotional image for Ice and the Sky

Mr. Byrne talked to the The Guardian about the issue of global warming:

Even actors whose movies don’t directly engage with the issue appeared to be reading from the same script. Speaking to the Guardian, the actor Gabriel Byrne, whose film Louder than Bombs is freighted with generalised anxiety about the future, said there is “no greater crisis” than global warming. “If we don’t get climate change under control it doesn’t really matter what else we aspire to. We need to make people aware of the real danger of annihilation.”

Byrne compared the current disengagement to Third Reich Germany. “This is everyone’s responsibility. It’s astonishing how sentient adults can either willingly ignore what’s happening or are ignorant of it. Resting nicely in a cocoon of apathy is such a betrayal of the people who come after us, if they come after us.”

That last line kind of kicks one in the head, doesn’t it!? And he is so right.

Here is the official Ice and the Sky trailer:

But in Ireland, things are a bit more upbeat! Turning to The Guardian once again, here is the headline:

Ireland gay marriage referendum result: Yes vote certain

I rather like “marriage equality” better, but you get the idea. Later today, all of the votes will be counted and the outcome of the referendum known. But it looks like a YES from Ireland, the only country in the world to determine this constitutional change by popular vote. How cool is that?!


Back at Festival de Cannes, the awards will be given tomorrow (Sunday). Stay tuned!

Here is someone who thinks Louder Than Bombs is a contender: Chaz Ebert, reporting at Cannes for, talks about several films, and one of her favorites is our favorite too!

Update May 22 #2

foreign press

There have been numerous articles in what we in the United States call “the foreign press,” which is our way of saying we only know English. wink

Having only Latin and a little Greek (Ancient) myself, I fear I am not doing justice to the range of opinions and interviews beyond the English-language resources I have already presented.

So, to help remedy this situation, I have enlisted the aid of Byrneholics who are more language-competent than I am!

And, just so you know, the French title for Louder Than Bombs is Plus fort que les bombes.

First up, with a translation from the French by our very own Forum Moderator, Aragarna, we have an interview with Gabriel and Joachim Trier from Allociné :

Joachim Trier: Lots of French filmmakers inspire me. I was talking with someone the other day, about the sad passing away of Alain Resnais, who did amazing films about memory, history and identity. Hiroshima Mon Amour is one of my favorite movies, and Louder Than Bombs, without comparing myself to the master, is also a reflection on memory and identity, even if the story focuses on one family. There are also a lot of interesting contemporaneous filmmakers: I’m very happy to be in Competition with Jacques Audiard, who is a wonderful director.

Gabriel Byrne: Louder Than Bombs reminded me of the movies Bergman used to do: it’s very calm, simply shown, but with complex themes. And the more you dig under the surface, the deeper the movie gets. And it’s a movie about a family. We all are part of a family, and we all have our own way to see it, but there is still a common language to certain experiences: tragedy, loss, trying to be father, be heroic, be a good person and trying to make everything okay while we step over things we don’t know. Love can guarantee you everything.
I think there is only one test for a movie. Does it move you? If it does, I think you’ll remember it. It’s very different from being impressed by a movie, because it could be from the technique, or its acting. To be deeply moved by a film, it has to get inside you. It’s a very complicated thing to accomplish: some people will see the film and will resist it, for whatever reason. But others with get into it, will share their point of view and will be moved by the film. It’s not a big story, with exploding cars and a predictable scenario. It’s about human themes that are deeply universal.

Joachim Trier: Gabriel Byrne is an actor I’ve been following for a long time and I thought he was perfect to play the father, because he made an original portrait. It’s not an authoritative figure but a loving father, attentive, and close. Maybe too close, but it’s interesting, and I’ve recently loved Gabriel’s work on In Treatment.

Gabriel Byrne: I had seen Reprise, and Oslo August 31, and I remember thinking they were good. Then I forgot. But he saw things I did and called me so that we could meet in Dublin and that he could talk about the film, that I immediately accepted. Because when such a talented director comes to you, whatever you’re going to work on doesn’t matter and I didn’t ask any questions.

Joachim Trier: Oslo August 31 was presented here, at the Un Certain Regard selection. It was funny at the same time as a great honor, and it allowed me to make “friends” in France, I mean get a bigger audience, which means a lot to me because I grew up watching French films. I’m very happy to show my films here and was very honored that they called me to be in the Official Selection.

Gabriel Byrne: There is a lot of pressure on directors at Cannes because everyone is looking for THE masterpiece. But that’s not the way films work: You can’t always compare one song to another, a painting to another, or a film to another. How can you compare Mad Max to Louder Than Bombs? There’s no possible comparison. The place where the film is presented can play on the reactions, but I hope that the film will transcend the festival.

And a short bit about the jury from Gabriel:
The Coen brothers and I worked together a long time ago, but I have a lot of affection for them. It was one of their first films, and it was the first one I made in the US, but they will be ruthless with me. I also know Jake Gyllenhaal, because we go to the same restaurant in New York, so I’ll go see him after the festival and I’ll… (mimes a pointing finger, laughing).

 gb-lemonde-20150518From Le Monde

More to come, so stay tuned! And many thanks to Ara for her help. I should have studied French in school. I know that now.

Update May 22

While enjoying the beach at Cannes, Mr. Byrne, his wife Hannah Beth King Byrne, and their puppy Lady remind us that something important is happening in Ireland.

The Marriage Equality Referendum vote is today! And how should one vote? Here is your answer!


hbk-yes-cannes2015Thanks to Dublin Councillor Mannix Flynn for sharing these on Twitter! heart

You can read more about the Referendum at CNN (for those who are not up to speed on what’s going on with this issue in Ireland).

And here is the Byrneholics posting about the Noble Call for Marriage Equality.

As we approach Sunday, the day of the Festival Awards, I thought a review of the award categories would be helpful. At least this way we will know what to be nervous about! smile

From Wikipedia (oddly enough, I could not locate this at the official festival website…) :

The most prestigious award given out at Cannes is the Palme d’Or (“Golden Palm”) for the best film.


Palme d’Or – Golden Palm
Grand Prix – Grand Prize of the Festival
Prix du Jury – Jury Prize
Palme d’Or du court métrage – Best Short Film
Prix d’interprétation féminine – Best Actress
Prix d’interprétation masculine – Best Actor
Prix de la mise en scène – Best Director
Prix du scénario – Best Screenplay

So now we know what to root for! Time to get the champagne on ice. For celebrating (or for drowning our sorrows), there is nothing like champagne. Unless it is this:

The-Palme-dOr-Cannes2015The Palme d’Or Award for Best Film

The list of films in Competition (from the Festival website):

CAROL Directed by Todd HAYNES
CHRONIC Directed by Michel FRANCO
DHEEPAN Directed by Jacques AUDIARD
MACBETH Directed by Justin KURZEL
SAUL FIA (SON OF SAUL) Directed by László NEMES
VALLEY OF LOVE Directed by Guillaume NICLOUX
YOUTH Directed by Paolo SORRENTINO

The buzz on Twitter is that CAROL will win. Other highly-regarded films this year include SAUL FIA, THE ASSASSIN, UMIMACHI DIARY, and THE LOBSTER. Some films have not screened yet.

There are some articles predicting the winners and I must report that Louder Than Bombs is not on anyone’s list so far.

So we shall see!

Update May 21

more video

Gabriel Byrne, Devin Druid, and Joachim Trier were interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter on May 19 and the YouTube video is no longer available. sad

However, here are some screencaps from the video:



louderthanbombs-THR-video-screencap-05Devin Druid, Gabriel Byrne, and Joachim Trier

there is no Keyser Soze

Oh yes there is!

On Saturday, May 23, there will be a very special screening (in digital format for the first time!) at Cannes’ Cinéma de la Plage of The Usual Suspects, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

The screenings at the Cinéma de la Plage, which take place each night under the stars, are open to the public.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios will be presenting the film on DCP (in digital format) for the first time, 20 years after it made its premiere at the Festival de Cannes.


This has to be the coolest thing at Festival de Cannes. Ok. Maybe not THE coolest because there are obviously tons of amazing films at the Festival this year. Still. The Usual Suspects. Dean Keaton! In digital format. On a beach at Cannes. In France. Under the stars. How cool is that!? wink

Update May 20

Actually from yesterday (May 19), Mr. Byrne is seen out and about at Cannes:

Thanks to Sofonisba for sharing this with us on Facebook! heart

In related news, Mr. Byrne has another film at Festival de Cannes!

Originally titled No Pay. Nudity, the film is now premiering at the World Market at Cannes as Lounge Act.

Broadway World tells us:

Arclight Films is proud to announce that LOUNGE ACT is having its World Market Premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment, Ghost Ship, The Usual Suspects), Nathan Lane (THE BIRDCAGE, THE PRODUCERS) and Frances Conroy (AMERICAN HORROR STORY, THE AVIATOR, SIX FEET UNDER) have teamed up bring an uplifting film about the various and hilarious ups and downs of the life of an actor to the big screen.

We reported on the film as it was shooting in New York City last summer. Remember this?


Just when we thought Gabriel Byrne could not be any busier! This is great news!

Thanks to Angelle, here are two more videos of Mr. Byrne and his colleagues at Festival de Cannes! heart

First up, a compilation video from the official festival YouTube Channel, with excerpts from the Photo Call, Interview, Press Conference, Red Carpet, and the Premiere. Watch to the very end and see the wonderful response and standing ovation at the Premiere.

Next, from Deadline Hollywood, an interview with Gabriel and director Joachim Trier.

Favorite Byrne-ing Quotes:

Watching yourself on film? That is an excruciating experience. Have you ever seen yourself on a wedding video? It’s worse.

The one good thing about Cannes is that it allows a platform for movies that don’t just entertain but that also illuminate the human condition and comment on it.


Update May 19

Today Mr. Byrne and his colleagues visited the American Pavilion at Festival de Cannes to talk with Logan Hill as part of Times Talks. Mr. Hill assures me that video of the conversation will be available at a later date and indeed, here is an excerpt:

Considering the rousing reception Louder Than Bombs (“thunderous applause!”) received at its official premiere last night and the after-parties that presumably ensued, I think it is very nice that these gentlemen showed up looking so dapper and reportedly full of brio!

american-pavilion-timestalks-cannes2015-02Logan Hill, actor Devin Druid, director Joachim Trier, and Mr. Byrne

Thanks to my friend at Cannes for providing this pic.

And now, to the critics!


For some unknown reason, although we could hypothesize, I suppose, reviewers in the UK and Ireland give this film a definite thumbs-down. So I will not trouble you with them.

Here, then, is a sampling of the response from the US and elsewhere by writers who had positive but also thought-provoking and critical things to say about Louder Than Bombs.

Dan Fainaru/Screen Daily

In what can only be described as the smoothest of transitions, Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s English-language debut finds him in top form, completely at ease with the language and fluently using to great effect the same subtle approach and lively visual grammar perfected in his two earlier films, Reprise and Oslo, August 31st. This story of the husband and two sons of a celebrated war photographer who try to find a common ground three years after her death in a traffic accident is richly detailed, sensitively played and cleverly mounted…

Writing with Eskil Vogt, just as he did for his first two films, the success of Trier’s deceptively complicated script relies to a great extent on working with the same technical team who have been there since the beginning. They include cinematographer Jakob Ihre and editor Olivier Bugge Coutte who has tied an unusually complicated collection of puzzle pieces into one coherent picture.

The cast deserve full credit. Gabriel Byrne’s father is soulful and sincere but he’s not always the most admirable or determined person. Isabelle Huppert offers one of her most unselfconscious performances, as the sunburned, weather-beaten photographer who doesn’t mind looking her age. Devin Druid carries Conrad with all the rebellious spirit required, and David Strathairn offers a remarkable cameo as Isabelle’s former colleagues about to write a revealing piece about her for The New York Times.

Eric Kohn/Indiewire

Cannes Review: Joachim Trier’s ‘Louder Than Bombs’ is a Complex Family Drama Done Right

Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s first two features, “Reprise” and “Oslo, August 31st” were eloquent, subdued dramas in which the details of the narratives mattered less than the way characters processed them. “Louder Than Bombs,” Trier’s first English language project and inaugural collaboration with name actors, technically marks his biggest project to date — but this ruminative ensemble piece about a New York family haunted by the legacy of its departed matriarch fits right in with Trier’s other films, yielding an alternately wise, melancholic and good-humored look at people surrounded by support but nonetheless alienated by their incapacity to confront their problems.

In different hands, “Louder Than Bombs” might quickly devolve into a terribly maudlin and didactic story of overcoming grief, parenting, coming of age, and other troubling clichés. (Last year’s “Men, Women and Children” was exactly that.) Instead, Trier and co-writer Eskil Vogt deliver a smart, measured tale steeped in understatement and complimented by first-rate performances all around.

1010093-gabriel-byrne-tapis-rouge-louderAt the premiere

Stephanie Zacharek/Village Voice

Of the films I’ve seen so far, Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s Louder Than Bombs is a favorite, although I think the movie is too subtle to qualify as a real showstopper here. Isabelle Huppert plays Isabelle, a photojournalist who has spent most of her working life in war zones. As the movie opens, she has already been dead for several years, and her husband, Gabriel Byrne’s Gene, is in the process of helping a gallery put together an exhibit of her work. Isabelle has also left behind two sons: Jesse Eisenberg’s Jonah has recently gotten a Ph.D., and he has a newborn child — he seems to be doing just fine. But his much younger brother, Devin Druid’s Conrad, still in high school, is having a rougher time. He’s obsessed with online gaming, he has a crush on a girl he can’t bring himself to speak to, and he believes he can work feats of magic that no one else can see. What’s more, Gene has discovered that one of Isabelle’s old journalism colleagues (David Strathairn) is planning to write a story about her that will include some previously unrevealed secrets about the nature of her death, details his younger son doesn’t know.

Actually, that summary makes Louder Than Bombs sound like a movie I’d never want to see. A colleague who disliked the film called it an elevated Sundance vehicle, and I understand where he’s coming from. But for me, Trier’s direction — his ability to take each scene down a road you don’t quite expect — makes all the difference.

Peter Debruge/Variety

In the 35 years since “Ordinary People,” American cinema has told and retold stories of how a death in the family can reveal the dysfunction no one wanted to admit was there. “Louder Than Bombs” is just such a picture, studying how a widower and his two sons cope with learning the “circumstances” of the accident that killed his war-photographer wife, but it also manages to be the opposite of nearly every other film in the genre. Directed by Joachim Trier, who’s certainly gifted enough to have turned in a passive-viewing tearjerker, “Bombs” asks audiences to bring their brains, eschewing grand catharsis in favor of subtle psychological nuance, resulting in a film that runs both slender and cold on the surface, but rewards the arthouse audiences willing to give it a deeper reading…

Both of Trier’s previous features, “Reprise” and the suicide-centered “Oslo, August 31st,” concern themselves with tortured intellectuals who question their own existence, vacillating between whatever force drives them to create and the equally compelling impulse to self-destruct. Early on, the film identifies most strongly with Gene, but in time, it shifts to each of his sons before finally settling on Conrad. When we meet the kid, he seems awkward and angry, although in time, by replaying a series of events through the character’s perspective rather than his father’s, we see that he, too, has artistic talent, as a writer — a career for which Trier himself sometimes seems more suited. After all, behind the pic’s highly technical framing is a literary-minded helmer who appears to view screenwriting as an extension of the Nouveau Roman (or “new novel”) tradition, constantly bending the rules and toying with such elements as narrative continuity, structure and form in bold but always elegant ways.

gb-joachim-trier-onset-louderthanbombs-2014Gabriel Byrne and director Joachim Trier behind the scenes

David Jenkins/Montages

Joachim Trier’s Louder Than Bombs is a sophisticated, genuinely taciturn beast

It’s such a rich film that it’s difficult to amply parse in a single sitting. And because there’s so much intellectual heft there, you feel that Trier has dialed things back when it comes to the technical aspects of the production. Regular cinematographer Jakob Ihre opts for crisp, tightly framed, deep-focus compositions. Everything is there for us to see, but actually, we’ll never really know what’s actually happening.

Trier and Vogt are humanists, and their empathy is palpable throughout, even when they depict man’s darker impulses. While perhaps not the unequivocal knock-out some were expecting after Oslo, let’s wait and see how Louder Than Bombs looks nestled within the context of what will undoubtedly be a directorial oeuvre of exceptional quality and rare insight into the human condition.

Alex Leadbeater/

Cannes 2015: Louder Than Bombs Review – A Lucid Film With Hidden Genius

Louder Than Bombs is an incredibly lucid film, jumping from dreams to hallucinations to flashbacks to documentary clips to internal monologues and back again with unfussed fluidity. All presented in a very natural manner, there’s no distinction between the imagined and the real, making for a film that rewards close observation with a layered story.

Tim Grierson/Paste Magazine

But rather than being manipulative or formulaic, Louder Than Bombs is a smart treatment of material that’s littered with potential booby traps. Weaving together flashbacks with present-day brooding, revealing hurtful family secrets and offering observations on the alienation of modern life, Trier’s film approaches terrain that’s been covered in everything from American Beauty to Little Children to Men, Women & Children. But Louder Than Bombs succeeds because Trier focuses so intently on his characters, avoiding the temptation to offer zeitgeist-y reflections on The Way We Live Today. The movie isn’t a sermon—it’s an expression of one family’s slow grieving process.

Byrne and Huppert are both superb, and neither role is an easy one. A former actor who gave up on his dream in order to raise their kids while his wife was covering atrocities around the globe, Gene is a depressive who is subconsciously trying to dampen his children’s enthusiasm for their mother. As for Huppert, her Isabelle is the film’s heart and soul, and although the character has been dead for two years, her memory haunts the picture. The actress doesn’t play Isabelle as a saint or a basket case, instead cannily keeping this photographer out of focus, her personality different depending on which family member is remembering her.

Glenn Heath Jr./Little White Lies [this review is no longer available]

Louder Than Bombs doesn’t share the raw and ambiguous resolve of Oslo; not many films do. But it does prove that Trier is a filmmaker passionately attuned to the types of long-gestating conflicts of miscommunication and doubt that most studio pictures often sensationalise for no good reason other than to sell tickets. Here, a whisper or a touch carries all the weight we need to feel something profound.

red carpet and premiere

Can there be too many pictures? No.





IMG_3011Red Carpet Official Car (thanks to my lucky friend who is at Cannes for providing this!)

premiere02Thunderous applause for the film!

premiere01And sometimes a picture does say a thousand words…

Update May 18 #2

The Red Carpet for the premiere of Louder Than Bombs started at 9:30 pm Cannes Times. Here’s the video!

(From L) US actor Devin Druid, US actress Rachel Brosnahan, Norwegian director Joachim Trier, French actress Isabelle Huppert and Irish actor Gabriel Byrne pose as they arrive for the screening of the film "Louder than Bombs" at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southeastern France, on May 18, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE
(From L) US actor Devin Druid, US actress Rachel Brosnahan, Norwegian director Joachim Trier, French actress Isabelle Huppert and Irish actor Gabriel Byrne pose as they arrive for the screening of the film “Louder than Bombs” at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southeastern France, on May 18, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE
(L-R) Cast members Gabriel Byrne and Isabelle Huppert, Director Joachim Trier, cast members Rachel Brosnahan, and Devin Druid pose on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of the film "Louder Than Bomb" in competition at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, May 18, 2015. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
(L-R) Cast members Gabriel Byrne and Isabelle Huppert, Director Joachim Trier, cast members Rachel Brosnahan, and Devin Druid pose on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of the film “Louder Than Bomb” in competition at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, May 18, 2015. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
(L-R) Director Joachim Trier, cast members Isabelle Huppert and Gabriel Byrne pose on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of the film "Louder Than Bomb" (Plus fort que les bombes) in competition at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, May 18, 2015. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
(L-R) Director Joachim Trier, cast members Isabelle Huppert and Gabriel Byrne pose on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of the film “Louder Than Bomb” (Plus fort que les bombes) in competition at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, May 18, 2015. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau


Gabriel Byrne and Hannah Beth King, both looking gorgeous! heart

Update May 18

A busy day at Festival de Cannes!

First, the Photo Call for Louder Than Bombs.





Next, the Interview.

And finally, the Press Conference!


More to come. Stay tuned!

Update May 17

first takes on the film

The first press screening yielded a mixed bag of responses initially. Some people love the film, others hate it. What I noticed in the tweets was this: the first tweets were almost all negative. Then the positive tweets started popping up. It seems human fingers are quickest when they do not like something. wink

You can read a round-up of the first tweets at Montages (I thank them for doing the hard work for me!).

And the first two published reviews were both positive, so that is good news!

The Playlist at Indiewire has a great review from Oliver Lyttelton:

But Trier’s always been one of the most literary filmmakers working today, and like a great novel, Trier hops around in time and reality (there’s a number of fantasy sequences that mark the most visually striking things he’s ever filmed), jumping off the incident of Isabelle’s death to examine not just how it’s affected her family, but those further removed too…

He also has something very nice to say about Mr. Byrne, but it involves a spoiler, so read the review at your own risk!


And Sasha Stone over at The Wrap has this to say:

The director doesn’t have tragedy on his mind with “Louder than Bombs.” This is a tender love story of discovery. The men find out more about their mother now that she’s dead than they ever did while she was alive.

There isn’t a single scene that falls flat or feels false. Trier dips in and out of flashbacks, dreams and fantasies, and even features some random videos from YouTube that we’ve all seen by now. Given the pollution in our culture, it’s a wonder there can be any authenticity left.

There is another press screening tonight and one tomorrow, so there will be many more opinions coming our way. Stay tuned!

photo op

Gabriel Byrne and his wife, Hannah Beth, arrived at the Nice Airport on their way to Festival de Cannes. Thanks to Angelle for this pic! star


PLEASE NOTE: There has been a change in the schedule. The film is being screened by the press today (Sunday) and so the Press Conference set for tomorrow (Monday, May 18) will be earlier, at 12:30pm Cannes Times.

Do not worry. The video will be grabbed for you, one way or another. developer


Many thanks to my friend attending Cannes who provides all this good information to us! heart

new interview

IndieWire’s Eric Kohn interviewed director Joachim Trier back in September on the set. Some excerpts:

Does this production feel any bigger than your previous work?

It feels the same. It’s always full of wanting to do something special and pushing on and the angst and all that stuff — it sounds pretentious — but all that goes into film-making. It’s felt exactly the same.


Is it accurate to describe the story as a family drama involving multiple generations?

Yeah. I think it’s trying to take into consideration the different perspectives in a family story. It’s about a mother who’s passed away and also a father and his two sons, played by Gabriel [Byrne], Jesse [Eisenberg] and Devin Druid, a fantastic young actor that [casting director] Laura Rosenthal brought to my attention. He’s nailing it. He’s incredible. He’s done a couple of good things before, but for me, he’s just remarkable. Really interesting kid.

You’re afraid of sounding academic?

I am! It’s funny because when you put things into words, sometimes they sound very constructed. Like if you say to someone, “We have a lot of conceptual montage scenes.” That sounds very cold and remote, maybe, or removed from the audience. But what we’re trying to do is get into the characters’ heads. We’re tracking perception, we’re tracking memory, we’re going through the thought processes, we’re looping back and forth in time, we’re going through the same moments that they share, and sometimes seeing it from different perspectives…

What do you think is the biggest challenge at this point?

Just mentioning the words “family drama” will have people step back, probably. I want to kidnap the drama back from HBO and put it on the big screen. We’re shooting in 35mm.

And Gabriel Byrne?

Gabriel’s fantastic. He plays the father, the warm gene, of the family. It’s a modern take on a dad, I think, grappling with his sons and being there in a strange way. I think as a person he is that, the character of looking out for everyone…

louderthanbombs-gb-devinDevin Druid as Conrad and Gabriel Byrne as Gene

Jon Inge Faldalen (his Twitter account disappeared on November 24, 2016) shared this synopsis of the film on Twitter today:


And my wonderful friend at Cannes shared this shot of the Cannes teaser poster today:

IMG_2921Don’t we all wish we were there? Yes we do! heart

Update May 16

Schedule of Events for Monday, May 18:

Press Only Screening of LOUDER THAN BOMBS Monday, May 18 at 1:30pm (Cannes Time)

Photo-Call and Press Conference Monday, May 18 at @ 3:30pm (Cannes Time)

Red Carpet and Gala Premiere Monday, May 18 at 10:00pm (Cannes Time)

Video will be captured and published here for later viewing!

And Louder Than Bombs made some noise today!


Update May 15

Still no trailer yet. Be patient!

The main website for Festival de Cannes 2015 provides videos AFTER events, as far as I can tell, but no streaming of LIVE individual events except for a constant live stream of everything, which is very nice and offers a large display on your computer screen.

Gaumont Opéra theaters in Paris are showing several films from Cannes later in May. On May 23, they are screening PLUS FORT QUE LES BOMBES (Louder Than Bombs, of course!). If you are lucky enough to live in the City of Lights, get yourself over there and catch Gabriel Byrne’s latest movie!

Here is the synopsis. My French is terrible. Hopefully yours is better. wink

De Joachim Trier avec Isabelle Huppert, Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne, Amy Ryan

Le jeune réalisateur d’origine norvégienne Joachim Trier avait été remarqué à Un Certain Regard avec son deuxième long métrage Oslo 31 août. Son premier film tourné en langue anglaise lui vaut sa première sélection en Compétition officielle. Alors qu’une exposition consacrée au travail de photographe de sa défunte femme va avoir lieu, un homme et ses deux fils découvrent un secret enfoui depuis longtemps, et qui pourrait bien faire voler leurs vies en éclat. Gabriel Byrne incarne le mari veuf, et Isabelle Huppert la célèbre photographe.

Sélection officielle – Compétition


Here is the official press release from The New York Times for their Times Talks at Cannes:

The New York Times will host a series of events in collaboration with The American Pavilion

NEW YORK, May 15, 2015 – The New York Times’s live and filmed conversations with top talents and thinkers, TimesTalks, makes its debut at the Cannes International Film Festival with a series of five fascinating events in collaboration with The American Pavilion.

In the spirit of the International Cannes Film Festival, each event has been tailored to reflect the array of genres and talent in cinema today. Taking place at The American Pavilion, just a few steps from the Palais des Festivals, New York Times contributor Logan Hill will be in conversation with some of cinema’s most talented actors, producers and directors…

Tuesday, May 19, 2-3 pm

Joachim Trier, Gabriel Byrne, Devin Druid

The talent behind “Louder than Bombs”: director Joachim Trier and actors Gabriel Byrne and Devin Druid.

Mr. Hill has promised video of the talk at some later date (bless him!), so stay tuned!


Memento Films International is showcasing Louder Than Bombs on their website.


Three years after her unexpected death, the preparation of an exhibition celebrating the famous war photographer Laura Freed brings her husband and their two sons together for the first time in years. When an unsettling secret resurfaces, the three men are forced to look at each other and themselves in a new light, redefining their innermost needs and desires.

A rich picture of the family’s dreams, disappointments and secrets is gradually developed through non-linear fragments of shared memories, daily challenges and strained attempts to coexist. With his signature hypnotic, yet often jolting and exhilarating storytelling pulse, Joachim Trier weaves a tapestry of cherry-picked details and dreamscapes, combining arresting imagery with a relentless exposure of human nature.

My friend in the business is at Cannes now. She sends evidence of her solidarity with the film–and with us! smile


Update May 14

No trailer for Louder Than Bombs is available yet, as far as I can tell, but once it is, you will find it here, of course!

In the meantime, IndieWire has gathered all available trailers for films showing at Cannes, so check them out.

And here is the Cannes teaser poster for Louder Than Bombs:


Update May 13

Gabriel Byrne will participate in a TimeTalks with interviewer Logan Hill at the Cannes American Pavilion Tuesday, May 19, 2:00 – 3:00 pm. Director Joachim Trier and actor Devin Druid will join them to discuss the making of Louder Than Bombs.

Mr. Hill informs me that video of this talk will be available at a later date, so stay tuned for that.

Here is the program (hard to read, but nice to have, thanks to my friend in the business!):


May 12

The Festival de Cannes is generally considered the most important and most influential (and the coolest) film festival in the world!

As the Festival gets underway tomorrow, May 13, we will be following the fortunes of Gabriel Byrne’s latest film, Louder Than Bombs, and reporting here at this posting.

This year’s Festival de Cannes has many exciting events and films including: the presentation of the Palme D’Honneur to director Agnes Varda; a special screening of the restored version of the film Z (1969) as part of Cannes Classics, with director Costa-Gavras as the guest of honor; and an Official Competition of 19 films from all over the world.

Louder Than Bombs is part of the Official Competition. The film’s premiere at Cannes will be May 18.

As news about Louder Than Bombs becomes available, you will find it here at this posting, so stay tuned. smile

Good luck to all involved: director Joachim Trier, co-writer Eskil Vogt, actors Gabriel Byrne, Isabelle Huppert, Jesse Eisenberg, Devin Druid, Amy Ryan, and David Strathairn, and all those who have worked on this labor of love and helped get it to this competition!

To start things off, here is an interview with director Joachim Trier about the “hotly anticipated” film at Screen Daily:

For his first English-language feature, Joachim Trier says he is “venturing almost anthropologically” into a new world. In making Louder Than Bombs, which is headed to Competition in Cannes, he even spent time hanging out with American teenagers.

“I had to go hang out in an American high school and listen to them,” he says of his third film, which is about a father (Gabriel Byrne) and his two sons (Jesse Eisenberg and newcomer Devin Druid – “a real discovery”, says Trier) who uncover the secrets of their late wife/mother (Isabelle Huppert) as they prepare a retrospective of her war photography.

The story’s New York setting gives Trier and long-time co-writer Eskil Vogt “a new culture” to explore. While acknowledging that Louder Than Bombs has a bigger budget ($11m) and name cast, he doesn’t feel making it was wildly different from his first two much-praised features, Reprise and Oslo, August 31st.

“In a way it’s a natural progression,” he says. “I decided not to go for offers of a studio film, but to develop from scratch our own story and our own film. I set out to make a personal film and it’s turned out to be a personal film.”

Read the rest of the interview and cross your fingers for Louder Than Bombs!



  1. I like the way Ingrid Bergman is smiling over her shoulder at the cheerleader flying through the air! :-)

  2. I am really looking forward to this film …it’s not often we get to see a film about family relationships and emotions , and secrets….I love independent film. Love the Cannes channel – enjoying a documentary on John Cassevetes , a true maverick in indie film in the U.S.

    Angelle from Canada

  3. Watched the May 18 Press Conference and Interview. Mr. Byrne was thoughtful. eloquent, magnetic, and especially generous towards Trier and his co-stars. Prince of a man.

    Angelle from Canada

  4. Thanks for sharing all these interesting news about Louder than Bombs.
    It is great that the movie found its way to Cannes.
    But when I look at the video of the photocall I get exhausted only by looking at it.
    It must be a hard job, smiling at all the photograpers.
    But the interesting part is the movie in itself.
    I hope for many good reviews.

    Nora from Norway

  5. Thank you so much for gathering everything in one place and making it so convenient for the rest of us Stella. I really enjoyed watching all the videos!
    Gabriel looked amazing. All smiling and relax and handsome… ♥
    I’m really looking forward to that film!

  6. Thanks to all for all that amazing info and pictures. One stop shopping!!

  7. Joanna MacGougan

    Stella – thanks so much for keeping us so well informed and up to date with all the reviews on Louder Than Bombs. I really can’t wait to see it and I’m praying it does well at Cannes. The pictures and videos are amazing and Gabriel, of course, is so handsome in all of them. Also, all the other articles and events that you let us know about are fantastic. Reading your page is the next best thing to being there. Thank you❤️
    Nova Scotia, Canada

  8. Pingback: Gabriel Byrne at Cannes 2015 – Louder Than Bombs | early rising mum

  9. Thank you for this amazing post Stella! Hope you don’t mind but I have put a link to this page in a post on my blog

  10. You are all most welcome, of course! <3

    I will continue to update this posting until the festival is over and may add a bit more later as relevant articles pop up on the web.

    This is rapidly becoming the longest posting ever!

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