“The Loudest Sound”
Apart and Connected
Michael (Michael Reardon) and Alice (Johanna Gorton) are a couple in their twenties who are coming apart because of lies, addiction, and their pasts. In the future they face will probably not be together yet they will always be connected by the child that Alice is about to have. Here rehab is actually rehabilitation. While Alice is away in rehab, Michael understands that he must face the past and come to a conclusion about love and desire.
The film opens with photos that let us think that the couple was once really in love. It then quickly moves to today and we see the lovers talking Alice’s addiction problem. During that time, her dad shows up. He has already arranged a place where Alice can get the help she needs. She resists, at first, but after talking to Michael she decides to go and this means she will be away for at least three months. As she leaves, we see the relationship is quite shaky and that even if Alice gets the help she needs, it could still fall apart. Drug addiction is serious enough as it is but we also become aware of lies and betrayal and Michael feels this.
When Michael meets Nancy (Hillary Coughlin), the new neighbor, he begins to think about where his life has been and what he really wants it to be. Nancy becomes the catalyst that opens Michael’s eyes and heart and ultimately changes the way he feels about Alice and their relationship. But there is something else. Michael finds a note that Alice left and it tells him that she is pregnant. Moving back and forth between past and present, we become aware of their relationship from when they met through Alice’s leaving. We especially see the rough periods and how these have affected them and the way they feel for each other. One of the novel treats here is that the film shifts between black and white and color. It is the characters that propel the plot and both Reardon and Gorton deliver wonderful performances. Their performances exhibit a certain raw quality and shows their power. Coughlin and the rest of the cast are also excellent throughout.
I particularly love that we get the whole story. Not only do we get the story of the relationship and the love that Michael and Alice share but we also feel the regret and guilt and guilt that came later. We see that any of us could be Michael and/or Alice and we feel what they feel as we watch them interact.
This is the debut film of director Jason Miller and he has created a film that he can be very proud of. I first watched the film about two weeks ago and the characters remained with me afterwards— so much so, that when I watched it again last night, I felt as if I was returning to two friends who are experiencing rough times.