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FORCE MAJEURE(TURIST) (director/writer: Ruben Östlund; cinematographer: Fredrik Wenzel; editor: Ruben Östlund; music: Ola Flottum; cast: Johannes Bah Kuhnke (Tomas), Lisa Loven Kongsli (Ebba), Clara Wettergren (Vera), Vincent Wettergren (Harry), Kristofer Hivju (Mats), Fanni Metelius (Fanni); Runtime: 119; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Erik Hemmendorff/Marie Kjellson/Philippe Bober; Magnolia Pictures; 2014-Sweden-in Swedish with English subtitles)
“Witty satire on masculinity and morality.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The title refers to an eventful chance occurrence. Force Majeure is a clause that is put into contracts absolving responsibility in cases of an unavoidable accident, or, simply an act of God. Swedish director-writer Ruben Östlund (“Incident by a Bank”/”Play”/”Involuntary”) follows a middle-class Swedish family to their vacation in the French Alps.The family includes businessman Dad (Johannes Bah Kuhnke) and homemaker Mom (Lisa Loven Kongsli) and their preteen blonde kids (Clara and Vincent Wettergren, real-life sibs). While outdoor lunching, on the second day, at their luxurious resort, an avalanche begins to rumble down a hill and in the background a Vivaldi soundtrack is turned on at full volume. Instinctively, in a me first survival mode, dad flees and leaves his entire family to fend for themselves. After the incident, with no one hurt, the family tries to continue their five-day holiday as if nothing happened. But too much has happened, and their interactions are now awkward among themselves and other guests. It becomes questionable if this supposed model marriage can now be saved.

The disturbing uncomfortable social drama, a psychological domestic thriller, is viewed as both a comedy and a sharp-look at middle-class marriage. Its witty satire on masculinity and morality is right on target.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”