Force majeure (Turist)

Force majeure is the Swedish entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. We meet Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke) and Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli), taking a vacation at a ski resort in the French Alps, along with their two kids, Vera (Clara Wettergren) and Harry (Vincent Wettergren). One day the family lunch at an outdoors veranda, as they witness a controlled avalanche. Explosives are used to reduce the risk of real avalanches. At first the people on the veranda watch, thinking there is no danger. But then it gets closer and closer and everyone start to panic. Ebba grabs her children to flee. But Tomas has already left with his gloves and his cell, leaving his family to fend for themselves. With a white-out from the powdery snow, the children and Ebba scream out for Tomas in panic. As things get clearer and Tomas returns, and they resume their meal as if nothing had happened. But later Ebba mentions the incident to another couple. She does it very casually, as if she was teasing Tomas. He says that he does not remember it that way. When they sit for a meal with their friends Mats (Kristofer Hivju) and Fanni (Fanni Metelius), Ebba mentions it again. But her tone is much more serious and accusatory. And again, Tomas denies it. But Ebba can prove it as Tomas filmed the avalanche with his cell. Mats tries to minimise the damage by saying that a person cannot predict how they will react to threats of eminent dangers. Back in their hotel room, Mats and Fanni are having an argument about how they would react if it happened to them. With his red hair and beard, Hivju looks like a viking, the nordic male sure of his masculinity. But Tomas is not so sure anymore, and then he cracks. His male ego has been hurt. There is good acting from everyone. Director Ruben Östlund uses an excerpt from the Summer movement from Vivaldi’s The four seasons several times during the film, as if to signal that a danger was forthcoming. And there might be. The film was shot at ski resort Les Arcs in Savoie, France, and it is beautiful. I think women and men are going have different reactions to Force majeure, and there will be a lot of discussions.

Rémi-Serge Gratton


 Force majeure (Turist)


Directed by: 
Ruben Östlund
Screenplay by: 
Ruben Östlund
Johannes Kuhnke
Lisa Loven Kongsli
Clara Wettergren
Vincent Wettergren
Brady Corbet
Kristofer Hivju
118 min.
Rated 14A
In Swedish and English
with English subtitles

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