Force Majeure (2014)

Original Title






Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju, Fanni Metelius, Karin Myrenberg, Brady Corbet, Johannes Moustos


A Swedish family travels to the French Alps to enjoy a few days of skiing. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but, during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. With diners fleeing in all directions, mother Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli) calls for her husband Tomas (Johannes Bah Kuhnke) as she tries to protect their children. Tomas, meanwhile, is running for his life... The anticipated disaster failed to occur, and yet the family's world has been shaken to its core, a question mark hanging over their father in particular.


Months ago, this film not getting an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film made quite a stir. I've finally watched it, it's a good film, but in my opinion not Oscar worthy.

With a very fascinating, and interesting plot, Force Majeure is a good drama that unfortunately drags way too much, thus resulting occasionally boring.

As said before, the idea on which the film revolves around is very interesting. The avalanche that stops and does not turn into a tragedy leads us to reflect on the nature of the human being. Our actions are not moved by any noble intentions, the survival instinct erases civilization, and we have to face the fact that we are not much different from animals after all.

One of the major issues is the length. The event happens in the first 15 minutes and the effect begin immediately after that. From then on, the argument is just dragged, and the film ends up being more than 2 hours long.

The other one is the ending. It feels like the film doesn't know how to end. On the one hand, the ugly truth previously mentioned is soften up by Tomas trying to redeem himself by helping his wife when in need. On the other hand, in one of the last scenes, the survival instinct comes back in a very hurried way, and feels like a forced emphasis on instinctuality.

Ruben Östlund's direction is great and along with the cinematography by Fredrik Wenzel wonderfully captures the beauty as well as the force of the film's scenery. The acting is all good, Norwegian Lisa Loven Kongsli stands out though. 


Tomas: I get it that you're disappointed in the person who materialized. I'm really disappointed in him too. I hate him... I hate him so damn much. And I... I can't forgive the guy... He's done other stuff before this, too. He has... He's lied. He's been unfaithful. Yes, he confesses. He cheats at games when he plays with Harry and Vera. He's so goddamn pathetic. And I can't live with him any longer. I don't want to. You're not the only victim here. I'm a victim too! I'm a bloody victim of my own instincts!

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