Force Majeure (1/14)

Force Majeure is the best possible introduction to Ruben Ostlund’s wicked mind, for this Oscar-worthy lightning crack dexterously stirs up the whole damned pot of feelings, and keeps your heart securely in your throat. But we’re not talking weepy melodrama, or a horror film that goes bump in the night. Rather, it unlocks that indescribable kernel of dread lodged deep in your core, the one that flowers when life’s messy wrath blurs everything you previously held dear. On a ski vacation in the French Alps, a married Swedish couple and their two young kids have a freakish close call when the detonation of a controlled avalanche threatens to engulf the entire resort. But that’s merely Ostlund’s awesomely photographed red herring, for the husband’s awkward ensuing fight-or-flight response is the film’s true explosive device. The phrase “Kubrick-ian” gets thrown around a lot these days, but Force Majeure is the real deal, the closest thing we’ve seen since Kubrick’s passing to that legendary filmmaker’s detached meta-cool, as well as giving every single shot the air of an alien planet, all using only the special effects of the mind.
Dir. Ruben Östlund, 2014, DCP, 118 min.

Watch the trailer for “Force Majeure”!
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