Force Majeure – Film Review

Score

A scathing psychological drama that unravels in the chill of the French Alps

On their skiing holiday in the French Alps, Swedish couple Tomas (Johannes Bah Kuhnke) and Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli) are eating with their children on a restaurant balcony when an avalanche appears to be sweeping towards them. After a breathtaking four-minute single shot, it dissipates; however, Ebba realises Tomas has fled in fear. Swedish writer-director Ruben Östlund’s scathing psychological drama examines how Tomas’ apparent cowardice affects his relationship with Ebba for the rest of the trip, as he refuses to own up and she becomes increasingly flinty and frustrated. The chill of the film’s setting heightens Östlund’s precise emotional revelations as the couple tussle with snowballing anguish.