Force Majeure

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"A film about disasters - both natural and man-made."
  • R
  • 2014
  • 1 hr 58 min
  • 7.2  (66,711)
  • 87

Force Majeure is a thought-provoking and emotionally-charged drama film from Swedish director Ruben Östlund, released in 2014. The film focuses on the relationship dynamics and crisis faced by a seemingly happy and well-off family during their skiing vacation at a French ski resort. The film was critically acclaimed and won numerous awards including the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

The central characters of the movie are Tomas, played by Johannes Kuhnke, and Ebba, played by Lisa Loven Kongsli, a married couple with two young children, Vera and Harry. They are on a skiing holiday at a luxury resort in the French Alps, and from the start, the film sets a tone of breathtaking beauty and wonderment at the mountainous backdrop. The family appears to be living a happy and carefree life until one day, they encounter an event that exposes the cracks in their relationship.

The event in question is a controlled avalanche that the resort triggers. As the snow descends down the mountainside and comes closer to the terrace where the family is eating lunch, a sense of danger builds. In a sudden moment of panic, Tomas runs away from the table, leaving his wife and children behind. Even though the avalanche eventually stops short of the terrace, the experience lingers in the minds of the family members and lays bare the reality of their relationships.

This singular moment becomes a catalyst for a series of confrontations and tense conversations that challenge the notion of what it means to be a partner, a parent, and a family. Ebba is understandably upset by the incident and the way her husband, Tomas, reacted. Tomas, on the other hand, feels confused and helpless, unable to explain his reaction or make amends. The tension in the air between them is thick and suffocating, and their reactions and responses to each other reveal the underlying issues in their relationship.

As the film progresses, the couple's relationship starts to unravel, and their individual doubts and conflicts come to the forefront. The couple's friends, Mats and Fanni, arrive at the resort and witness the growing tension between them. The friends are also going through marital problems, which serve as a parallel storyline that explores different aspects of marital relationships.

One of the defining aspects of Force Majeure is its slow-burning and ambiguous narrative, which doesn't provide clear-cut answers to the characters' problems. Instead, the film uses the snowstorm and the avalanche as metaphors for the conflicts and dilemmas faced by the family. The film also explores gender roles and expectations within relationships and how they can breed resentment and conflict.

The performances from the cast, especially Kuhnke and Kongsli, are tremendous, conveying the raw emotions and tensions that run through the plot. The cinematography is stunning, with the vast snowy landscapes providing a beautiful but also claustrophobic setting.

In conclusion, Force Majeure is an intense, slow-burning, and highly provocative film that offers a poignant meditation on the fragility of human relationships. The film is a testament to the power and complexity of the human psyche and will leave audiences thinking long after the credits have rolled. It is a film that delves deep into the abyss of human emotions and relationships and exposes the raw tensions and conflicts that can arise from seemingly banal events. So, if you are looking for a film that challenges and stimulates your intellect and emotions, look no further than Force Majeure.

Force Majeure is a 2014 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 58 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 87.

Force Majeure
Where to Watch Force Majeure
Force Majeure is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Amazon Prime, Peacock Premium, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Force Majeure for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 58 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (66,711)
  • Metascore