- Force Majeure centers around a 3-minute shot that starts at the 11-minute mark. This Swedish family is sitting at an outdoor restaurant at a ski resort when an avalanche starts heading towards them. The man Tomas (played by Johannes Kuhnke) leaves his wife Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli) and their two kids.
- In the few minutes before the shot, and certainly the 90+ minutes that follow—we track the difficult conversations, awkward dinners, and nuances of a relationship after the fallout. The moment looms so large when hearing about it, it causes other people to debate and fight
- Östlund stretches out the scenes with silences. It might be a 90-minute screenplay that plays for 120 minutes. We as the audience are eavesdropping (like a smoking janitor shown again and again) in what seems to be the breaking point in this relationship.
- Thoughtfully explores a relationship teetering on the brink, a meditation on masculinity
- Fine acting by both leads- especially the red wine-induced honesty from Kongsli during one potent scene
- Chapter breaks for the different days on vacation, interludes of the empty mountain
Östlund just holds a shot for minutes on end– an example here over a great mountain landscape
- Östlund’s preference for long takes develops a certain rhythm. His reveling in the discomfort of the scene and keeping the camera static screams Haneke
- Recommend but not in the top 10 of 2014