Joachim Trier directs and co-writes a tale of miserable men mutely mourning Mom. Though we open on new dad Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) as he wanders a hospital, halfheartedly seeking food for his bedridden wife before scoping out some ex-sex with a gal accompanying her dying mother, this is actually the story of his scowly younger brother Conrad (Devin Druid), a traumatized teenager. How traumatized? He eventually asks his father (Gabriel Byrne), “Am I really that difficult to talk to?” after first telling Dad to get the fuck out of his room when he asks to talk and later slamming the car door on Dad when he asks to talk. And what is there to chat about? It seems Mom (Isabelle Huppert) was a combat photographer who couldn’t properly come home to the family she made a habit of leaving, so she checked out for good. And as revelation looms, Dad and boys share stilted, spiny conversations while saving anything approaching real talk for various friendly womenfolk. The people aren’t people here; they’re not even types — just instruments for conveying words and pictures, some of which are artful, but not nearly enough to make up for the dire drear and maudlin indulgence. (Check your tolerance for dream sequences.) (2015) — Matthew Lickona
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