New Greetings from the Dark. Sometimes we simply can not”get over it”. Three years after the passed away of a war photographer in a suspicious car accident, her husband and two sons are in different states of emotional distress. Each handles guilt in their own way, but these three seem to go out of their way to avoid them actually dealing with the emotional consequences.
Author / director Joachim Trier (Oslo, August 31) delivers his first English-language film with assistance from Co-author Eskil Vogt and a stunning cast. As one would expect from Mr. Trier, this is a visually elegant Film with stunning images … and the timeline is far from simple, since we jump from the past to the present and from the point of view of different characters (sometimes with the same scene).
Creativity related to storytelling and technical aspects has no influence on the rhythm. To say that the Film is meticulous would be a way of saying that a lot of viewers are actually restless / bored,how slow things move sometimes. Trier uses this rhythm to help us feel some of the Frustration and discomfort that each of the characters feels.
Isabelle Huppert plays the mother / wife in gorgeous flashbacks and dreamlike sequences, while Gabriel Byrne plays her surviving husband. Jesse Eisenberg as Jonah and Devin Druid as Conrad are the sons, and as brothers, they struggle to connect … just as the father struggles to connect with each of them. In fact, this is a Movie full of characters who lie to each other, lie to each other and lie to others. It’s no secret why they are miserable in their own way. Oppressed emotions are sometimes overwhelming, and it is especially difficult to see the youngest son struggling with the social aspects of high school … This is a fascinating performance by Devin Druid (“Olive Kitteridge”).
Jesse Eisenberg manages to tone down his usual hyper-revolting mannerisms while creating the Film’s most unlikely character … and that says a lot. Mr. Byrne offers a solid performance as a father, who is quite imperfect, and further supporting work is done by David Strathairn and Amy Ryan. The shadow that this woman casts is immense and deep … and for almost two hours we watch the family that let her face her passed away and the other. This is a Movie that is well made, but only you can decide if it seems like a good way to spend two hours.