Force Majeure Reviews

  • Apr 04, 2021

    Sympathy, empathy, compathy, survival instinct, anger, irritation, remission, reactance... So plain, so simple, so hard to live with, though.

    Sympathy, empathy, compathy, survival instinct, anger, irritation, remission, reactance... So plain, so simple, so hard to live with, though.

  • Feb 17, 2021

    Slow burn psychological drama that reveals the impact of gender on a married couple

    Slow burn psychological drama that reveals the impact of gender on a married couple

  • Dec 27, 2020

    Unspeakably boring and pointless.

    Unspeakably boring and pointless.

  • Dec 26, 2020

    Unlike the avalanche that disrupts their lives, Force Majeur is a tightly controlled film about marital discord and failed patriarchal expectations. A Swedish family on a ski vacation in France is faced with what they thought was a controlled avalanche. As it bears down on them, the husband flees with his cell phone while the wife tries to save the children. In the aftermath, the family tries to come to terms with the actions of the husband in what becomes a situation difficult to reconcile. The movie is filled with lengthy and carefully composed static shots, understated performances, and a tension that builds slowly over the arc of the story. While some may find it slow, it is an intricate journey into the heart of a man whose life is changed by an error of judgement made in a moment of panic.

    Unlike the avalanche that disrupts their lives, Force Majeur is a tightly controlled film about marital discord and failed patriarchal expectations. A Swedish family on a ski vacation in France is faced with what they thought was a controlled avalanche. As it bears down on them, the husband flees with his cell phone while the wife tries to save the children. In the aftermath, the family tries to come to terms with the actions of the husband in what becomes a situation difficult to reconcile. The movie is filled with lengthy and carefully composed static shots, understated performances, and a tension that builds slowly over the arc of the story. While some may find it slow, it is an intricate journey into the heart of a man whose life is changed by an error of judgement made in a moment of panic.

  • Dec 25, 2020

    This is overrated by critics. It's not *that* funny nor *that* deep as far as relationship commentary goes. I get that it's supposed to be subtle because it's about these bland repressed people but it dragged on for too long in many parts. If the absurdities were taken up just a notch then I think it would've been more successful. The only parts of the movie that felt truly comedic were the scenes with the redheaded bearded dude. When he and his younger girlfriend entered the story, the comedic energy and timing was finally there.

    This is overrated by critics. It's not *that* funny nor *that* deep as far as relationship commentary goes. I get that it's supposed to be subtle because it's about these bland repressed people but it dragged on for too long in many parts. If the absurdities were taken up just a notch then I think it would've been more successful. The only parts of the movie that felt truly comedic were the scenes with the redheaded bearded dude. When he and his younger girlfriend entered the story, the comedic energy and timing was finally there.

  • Dec 23, 2020

    It's a good movie, a bit slow and long, but with a big message.

    It's a good movie, a bit slow and long, but with a big message.

  • Dec 13, 2020

    Perhaps a better title would be, Awkward Pause Majeure. Some interesting ideas buried in those silent periods and awkward conversations. But not enough to keep the film from dragging, and offering some unrealistic scenarios.

    Perhaps a better title would be, Awkward Pause Majeure. Some interesting ideas buried in those silent periods and awkward conversations. But not enough to keep the film from dragging, and offering some unrealistic scenarios.

  • Nov 30, 2020

    What happens when one of your most primal instincts — survival — works so well that it unravels your picturesque marriage? That's the question that Force Majeure puts forth at the expense of Tomas (Johannes Bah Kuhnke) and his beautiful Swedish/Norwegian family. Set to the backdrop of a ski resort in the French Alps that somehow feels more like a gothic castle than a European-clean holiday retreat, this movie takes Medieval European torture out of the dungeons and into cringe-inducing dinner scenes and conversations over drinks. While enjoying their breakfast on the balcony, an avalanche comes hurtling down the mountain. As one (or everyone) does in the 2010s, Tomas begins taking a video of the scene, reassuring his family that everything is under control. When it turns out it very well might not be under control, Tomas snatches his belongings from the table and runs in the opposite direction, leaving his wife and children — screaming "Papa! Papa!" — to fend for themselves. While the avalanche does only create a powdery cloud for the diners to overcome — there are a few nervewracking seconds there — the real avalanche that is about to hit Tomas is how is manhood, fatherhood, husbandhood(?) are called into question again…and again… and again. You want to believe you would've acted with more courage than Tomas, but who knows when death is barreling its white face down a mountain directly towards you. He's a coward and doesn't do himself any favors going the denial route while Ebba questions him and presents video evidence. Their friend, Mats (Kristofer Hivju a.k.a. Tormund from GoT!) tries to explain how you're not yourself in those moments, citing the Estonia disaster and other scientific research, even getting into a fight with his own girlfriend (Fanni Metelius) over the scenario had it been them dining al fresco that morning. Tomas finally comes to grips with his wrongdoing and has a breakdown outside their hotel room door that was cathartic for me, not sure for him. The ending is what pushed this film into the low-90s from the high-80s for me. Östlund gives us the feel-good ending that, had the movie ended then and there, would've been nice — Tomas redeems himself, with his wife in his arms, drops her next to his children (Clara and Vincent Wettergren). But wait, then we get the real ending, with Ebba completely ditching her family on a tumultuous bus ride down the mountain as if her husband and children didn't exist. You hear that sound? It's the sound of table legs turning on the linoleum. Everyone gets off and Tomas, after initially turning down a cigarette from a fellow passenger, changes his mind and accepts while telling his son, "yeah, sometimes I do smoke." You smoke that cigarette, Tomas.

    What happens when one of your most primal instincts — survival — works so well that it unravels your picturesque marriage? That's the question that Force Majeure puts forth at the expense of Tomas (Johannes Bah Kuhnke) and his beautiful Swedish/Norwegian family. Set to the backdrop of a ski resort in the French Alps that somehow feels more like a gothic castle than a European-clean holiday retreat, this movie takes Medieval European torture out of the dungeons and into cringe-inducing dinner scenes and conversations over drinks. While enjoying their breakfast on the balcony, an avalanche comes hurtling down the mountain. As one (or everyone) does in the 2010s, Tomas begins taking a video of the scene, reassuring his family that everything is under control. When it turns out it very well might not be under control, Tomas snatches his belongings from the table and runs in the opposite direction, leaving his wife and children — screaming "Papa! Papa!" — to fend for themselves. While the avalanche does only create a powdery cloud for the diners to overcome — there are a few nervewracking seconds there — the real avalanche that is about to hit Tomas is how is manhood, fatherhood, husbandhood(?) are called into question again…and again… and again. You want to believe you would've acted with more courage than Tomas, but who knows when death is barreling its white face down a mountain directly towards you. He's a coward and doesn't do himself any favors going the denial route while Ebba questions him and presents video evidence. Their friend, Mats (Kristofer Hivju a.k.a. Tormund from GoT!) tries to explain how you're not yourself in those moments, citing the Estonia disaster and other scientific research, even getting into a fight with his own girlfriend (Fanni Metelius) over the scenario had it been them dining al fresco that morning. Tomas finally comes to grips with his wrongdoing and has a breakdown outside their hotel room door that was cathartic for me, not sure for him. The ending is what pushed this film into the low-90s from the high-80s for me. Östlund gives us the feel-good ending that, had the movie ended then and there, would've been nice — Tomas redeems himself, with his wife in his arms, drops her next to his children (Clara and Vincent Wettergren). But wait, then we get the real ending, with Ebba completely ditching her family on a tumultuous bus ride down the mountain as if her husband and children didn't exist. You hear that sound? It's the sound of table legs turning on the linoleum. Everyone gets off and Tomas, after initially turning down a cigarette from a fellow passenger, changes his mind and accepts while telling his son, "yeah, sometimes I do smoke." You smoke that cigarette, Tomas.

  • Sep 01, 2020

    The posters don't lie. This is a shockingly grim comedy. It's both hysterical and depressing, sometimes in the same scene. I watched both this and the later American remake "Downhill". This was much better, and one clear difference was the cinematography and the acting. The camera is mostly wides and medium shots, giving the film a very cold, distant, and awkward feeling. You're never really comfortable in the film - even in scenes where things are getting better. The acting was also superb, with the characters both laughing and crying - which then made me laugh and cry.

    The posters don't lie. This is a shockingly grim comedy. It's both hysterical and depressing, sometimes in the same scene. I watched both this and the later American remake "Downhill". This was much better, and one clear difference was the cinematography and the acting. The camera is mostly wides and medium shots, giving the film a very cold, distant, and awkward feeling. You're never really comfortable in the film - even in scenes where things are getting better. The acting was also superb, with the characters both laughing and crying - which then made me laugh and cry.

  • Jul 15, 2020

    The veneer of happy family life is savagely thorn apart and people are forced to confront themselves and their values. A bit too politically correct at times and with secondary plotting that adds little of real value but a very worth while effort.

    The veneer of happy family life is savagely thorn apart and people are forced to confront themselves and their values. A bit too politically correct at times and with secondary plotting that adds little of real value but a very worth while effort.