Love, the thing that is supposed to last forever and make our lives wonderful yet so often ends leaving us miserable. We’ve all been there, finding love, having it grow only to wither and die over time, do you try to save it and risk prolonging the pain? And how much do you suffer before finally deciding to let go? These questions are at the center of writer/director Jason Miller’s impressive debut film The Loudest Sound.
Michael (Michael Reardon) and Alice (Johanna Gorton) have been together for three years, but their relationship is starting to unravel due to Alice’s substance abuse issues. After disappearing yet again, this time for four days, her father makes arraignments for her to spend three months in rehab. Left alone, Micheal begins to take stock of their relationship, and what he wants from it and from his life. This is complicated by two things, a growing attraction between himself and new neighbor Nancy ( Hillary Coughlin) and finding out that Alice is pregnant.
Let me make it clear, this is a damn good movie. It also wasn’t an easy one for me to watch, because it is so on point it hit nerves that are still raw after many years. I’ve been involved with an addict, somebody with mental issues. I know what it’s like to try to hold a relationship together through those problems, the desire to help them and the anger when they refuse to help themselves. I’ve had a relationship involving children fall apart, indeed I learned my first wife was pregnant with our second child the a couple of weeks after we separated. Miller’s script looks at these things in a very realistic light. This isn’t a typical romantic drama, this is a realistic look at the world.
The film’s narrative alternates between what is currently happening and Michael’s reminisces of how he and Alice came together, fell in love and joys and strains of the relationship. It also alternates between color and black and white depending on what is occurring on screen. Thankfully it’s not overused and remains effective.
Brutally well written and with excellent performances by the leads, The Loudest Sound is a remarkable debut for Jason Miller. It will be interesting to see what he follows this up with. The film is just now starting a festival run and has already a best screenplay award at the Shawna Shea Film Festival. It’s certainly worth seeing if it screens near you.
Short interview with the two leads: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_utustXKOI