Review of "Force Majeure (DVD)"

published 16/09/2017 | thedevilinme
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"'There's nothing in your head that you haven't said!'"

Force Majeure (DVD)

Force Majeure (DVD)

Star – The Alps
Genre – World Cinema > Dromedy
Run Time – 120 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – Sweden
Golden Globe – 1 nomination
Awards – 31 Wins & 16 Nominations
Amazon – £5.92 DVD £8.00 Blue Ray
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So Force Majeure (an event that no human foresight could anticipate or which, if anticipated, is too strong to be controlled), for once a highly recommended Scandinavian film that’s not a crime caper with a hot singleton detective who is divorced with a drinking problem and mumbles all through the movie in darkly lit crime scenes. No, it’s an unsettling Swedish black comedy from likewise director Ruben Östlund. It’s BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated and was adored by the film festival circuit for its visually inventive look and dark comedy themes and writing and had a high win ratio. It didn’t win the Oscar in 2015 but was Sweden’s official entry. Its rather unique and intelligent film making. Watch the trailer below.



Johannes Kuhnke ... Tomas (as Johannes Bah Kuhnke)
Lisa Loven Kongsli ... Ebba
Clara Wettergren ... Vera
Vincent Wettergren ... Harry
Kristofer Hivju ... Mats
Fanni Metelius ... Fanny
Karin Myrenberg ... Charlotte
Brady Corbet ... Amerikanen
Johannes Moustos ... Stadaren
Jorge Lattof ... Tomba
Adrian Heinisch ... Busschauffören
Michael Breitenberger ... Rökande mannen

A young middle class family consisting of Stockholm businessman Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke), his attractive Norwegian wife Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli), their young daughter Vera (Clara Wettergren) and preschooler Harry (Vincent Wettergren) are staying at a luxury resort in the French Alps.

On their second day, having lunch outside on the deck of a restaurant, they witness a controlled avalanche across the other side of valley. The snow workers that try to keep the resort safe are a little over zealous with the snow cannon as the snow rumbles down the mountain and appears to racing towards the restaurant as most of the guests run for cover inside. Tomas, who is filming the white cloud on his mobile phone, panics and runs, leaving Ebba with their children encased in a dense fog. The patrons return to their tables as the fog dissipates, and no one is hurt s the snow fell well short of the location.

That evening the couple eats dinner with one of Ebba's friends, Charlotte (Karin Myrenberg), who has picked up a young American man for the evenings entertainment. Ebba has something on her mind and recites the story of the avalanche in English. Tomas insists he did not run away from the table, leaving his family alone to face the potential avalanche, adding sarcastically ‘that one cannot run in ski boots’. They argue in front of their embarrassed guests. Ebba is pissed that he would not admit he ran away from the avalanche abandoning them. He says he remembers it differently. How could he admit that?

Ebba needs time to contemplate things and decides she would like a day of skiing by herself as dad takes the kids snowboarding.

The next day Mats (Kristofer Hivju), one of Tomas's old friends, joins them at the resort with his young girlfriend, Fanni (Fanni Metelius). In their lodge as they eat, Ebba suggests that Mats and Tomas have a day of skiing together, since she had a day alone. The boys can’t wait and go off piste in the powder snow higher up the peaks for men talk.

After dinner and lots of wine Ebba recounts the story of the avalanche, to the silent horror of Mats and Fanni. She can’t let it go and beginning to get to all of them, even Mats, who is now confronted on the same masculinity issue by Fanni of would he, hypothetically, stay on the deck to save her? The evening quickly goes down hill as men’s roles in the world are questioned.

I really liked this, dark, funny, smart, quietly dramatic and visually foreboding as the sleeping yet powerful mountains press down their ominous grand shadows on the feeble humans in their embrace. It’s a film that questions men and women’s roles in the world as guardians and certainly unsettling for blokes. What if your job as a dad is simply to pay the bills and be looked up to? What if one seemingly trivial moment all that trust is lost? It certainly makes you think. Hs that moment already happened to your family and your wife festering on it?

As I say it has a real edge to it in its look and feel as the cannons that clear potential avalanches boom away day and night, a 21 gun salute to the workers who keep the ski slopes open by working after sunset. From the crashes of Vivaldi on the soundtrack to the static shots of clanking machinery in the nearby ski resort, it's an oddly unsettling experience. By the way if you are caught in an avalanche the first thing you should do is clear a space to dribble and see which way the spittle goes. If it doesn’t you are upside down.

The acting is spot on around that polite but awkward comedy of manners the middle- class often suffers from. They would rather not have confrontations but when they do they are often seismic as they have sort perfection in their marriages and careers so somehow entitled not to have imperfections. The working- class just throw cheap crockery from Wilkos at each other and it’s sorted, although they rarely go skiing.

It did a meager $1.4m for what it is and deserved more attention, an above average foreign film. If you like arty or subtitles you will love this. I’m fed up of saying it but the best films are rarely in the English language. It’s pitched as comedy but very much a black one on that genre although contains some funny and hairy scenes, none more so than the inexperienced coach driver trying to descend the twisting Alpine roads. But what you will leave with most is that foreboding menace form a likewise and interesting director who doesn’t shy away from awkward subjects.

RATINGS – 7.3/10.0 (33,234votes) – 93% critic’s approval – 84% critic’s approval
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The Mail –‘’Filmmaker [Ruben] Östlund's design is fascinating in the way Ebba's story soon becomes a litmus test for gender, family, and even age issues among all who hear it, including the audience’.

The New Statesman –‘If anything undermines this knowing comedy of manners, it is the sense that it prides itself on being a knowing comedy of manners’.

The Independent –‘Ruben Ostlund's subtle and probing drama lays bare the tensions and misunderstandings in a seemingly happy marriage over the course of a week's skiing holiday’.

Financial Times –‘We shouldn't relish others' misery this much’

Little White Lies –‘.An essentially hollow contrivance, more concerned with pushing hot buttons and sparking discussion than organically developing characters or probing complex issues’.

NY Times –‘[Ruben] Östlund pushes all the events just to the edge of absurdity, to find the comedy in an uncomfortable situation’.

Seattle Times –‘.Its use of long-takes and other social realist filmmaking techniques mean it often plays too close to the bone, leaving you feeling uncomfortable more frequently than in fits of laughter’.


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  • LiveMusicLoverLyn published 08/10/2017
  • Candyperfumegirl published 22/09/2017
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    vh :o)
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Product Information : Force Majeure (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Country Of Origin: Sweden

Genre: Drama

Video Category: World Cinema Feature Film

Classification: 15 years and over

Sub Genre: Comedy

DVD Region: DVD

Actor(s): Johannes Kuhnke, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Kristofer Hivju

Director(s): Ruben Östlund

EAN: 5021866744308


Listed on Ciao since: 13/09/2017