“Force Majeure” tells the story of a Swedish family on a pleasant ski vacation in the French Alps. During a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, a looming avalanche turns everything upside down. With diners fleeing in all directions, the mother shields her children. Meanwhile, the father grabs his iPhone and runs for his life. When the anticipated disaster fails to occur, a marriage hangs in the balance and family dynamics are upended in this wickedly funny psychodrama.
Washington Post‘s Ann Hornaday calls this arty disaster film “stingingly clever and well executed, filmed with crystalline clarity and observant humor.” The Playlist admires its great visuals and “cerebral rather than visceral, ruthless rather than emotive” qualities; Variety calls it “Haneke meets ‘Scenes from a Marriage.'”
“Force Majeure” is Ostlund’s fourth feature. Last year’s Un Certain Regard Jury prize winner, “Omar” from Palestine, was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Jury Prize winners, including “Elena” and “Police, Adjective” in recent years, typically find a decent home at US arthouses. Release date forthcoming.