Jesse Eisenberg Brings Quiet Intensity to Louder Than Bombs

Jesse Eisenberg in Louder Than Bombs
Jesse Eisenberg in Louder Than Bombs

Jesse Eisenberg Dials Down the Crazy for Louder Than Bombs

In “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” Jesse Eisenberg amps up the crazy as arch villain Lex Luther, who devises the devious plan to pit one superhero against the other. It’s a big noisy movie full of explosions that sees Eisenberg ranting and raving at the end.

Eisenberg’s latest film is called “Louder Than Bombs.” But despite the title — and unlike “Batman v Superman” — nothing actually blows up here, except illusions. As a professor named Jonah coping with his mother’s death, Eisenberg dials down his performance but loses none of the edge, says director Joachim Trier.

“The character Jonah, who’s sort of this ambitious young father and academic who obviously is kind of in denial of the grief he’s feeling for his mother, needed something more subtle and more of an internal life, perhaps, and I think Jesse did that very well,” says Trier.

Louder Than Bombs Casts Jesse Eisenberg as a Brother Grappling with Death of Mother

“Louder Than Bombs” tells the story of a father and his two sons confronting their feelings and memories of their wife and mother, a famed war photographer who died in a car crash that may or may not have been a suicide.

Eisenberg plays the eldest son grappling not only with his own grief but trying to help his rebellious younger brother, played by newcomer Devin Druid. The father is portrayed by Gabriel Byrne and the mother, mostly in flashbacks, by Isabelle Huppert.

“Louder than Bombs,” which was entered in last year’s Cannes Film Festival, marks the English-language debut of Norwegian filmmaker Trier, who made the critically lauded art house movies “Reprise” and “Oslo, August 31st.”

“Reprise,” which had been distributed by Miramax, gave him the idea of trying his hand at a film set in the United States.

“It was a bit of an anthropological experience for me to go to America,” he says. “I hadn’t been to an American high school. So me and my cowriters had to go there and do some research. And I think the kids were very generous not freaking out having these grown Norwegians in the back of the class with notepads.”

“Louder Than Bombs” is currently in limited release.