FORCE MAJEURE

by Ruben Östlund

Denmark/France/Norway/Sweden, 2014, 118 min.

A Swedish family travels to the French Alps to enjoy a few days of skiing and spend some precious time with each other. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but, during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. With diners fleeing in all directions, mother Ebba calls for her husband Tomas as she tries to protect their children. Tomas, meanwhile, is running for his life...Reality returns to embarrassed laughter, the anticipated disaster having failed to occur, and yet the family's world has been shaken to its core. Tomas’ unexpected action leads them to evaluate their roles and assumptions, a question mark hanging over their father in particular. With the end of the holiday approaching, Tomas and Ebba's marriage hangs in the balance as Tomas struggles desperately to reclaim his role as family patriarch. FORCE MAJEURE is an observational comedy about the role of the male in modern family life.

Reviews

"Hair-raising (...) plays with the effects of human split-second responses - tracing the emotional aftershocks that come from one decision(...) crosses from the comic and tragic and back again (...) With Force Majeure, the Swedish filmmaker displays an unsparing vision of human nature, gnawed by uncertainty, and ill-served by the instincts that are supposed to protect us"
Nicolas Rapold, THE NEW YORK TIMES

"Visually stunning (...) unsettling psychological thriller (...) of all the satirists working in cinema today, Ostlund displays perhaps the slyest streak of dark humour"
Peter Debruge, VARIETY

"A sardonic, serious, funny, precision-controlled psycho-comedy-drama(...)  One of this superbly directed film's many pleasures is the way Ostlund risks provoking out and out laughs from the midway point on, as the dramatic stakes heighten"
Lee Marshall, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

Ruben Östlund


Ruben Östlund was born in 1974 in Styrsö, a small island on the West Coast of Sweden. He studied graphic design before enrolling at the University of Gothenburg, where he met Erik Hemmendorff with whom he later founded Plattform Produktion. An avid skier, Östlund directed three ski films, alluding to his taste for long sequence shots, a taste he structured and developed throughout his film studies and which to this day remains an important trademark of his work.

 

 

 

 

Ruben has become well known for his humorous and accurate portrayal of human social behaviour, as well as for his renowned used of Photoshop and other forms of image-processing software in his films. His feature debut THE GUITAR MONGOLOID, produced by the co-founder of Plattform Produktion, Erik Hemmendorff, won the FIPRESCI Award at Moscow in 2005. The film was then distributed in more than 20 countries and shown at numerous festivals, awarding Ruben international recognition. Two years later, he won the Golden Bear in Berlin for INCIDENT BY A BANK, a short film in which every camera movement was computer generated in post-production. The premiere of his third feature film PLAY (2011) was held in Cannes at the Director’s Fortnight, where he was awarded the´Coup de coeur´ Prize. 

After Cannes, PLAY was shown in Venice and Toronto as well as numerous other festivals where it received additional prizes and distinctions: among others, PLAY was nominated for the prestigious LUX prize of the European Parliamant and won the Nordic Prize, the highest distinction in Scandinavia. His fourth feature film, FORCE MAJEURE, premiered at Un Certain Regard  in Cannes, where it was awarded the Jury Prize. The film was selected in countless festivals and won 16 Best Foreign film awards. FORCE MAJEURE was also was nominated at the Golden Globe and shortlisted for an Oscar®. The film has been distributed in over 70 countries.

THE SQUARE is the fourth of Östlund’s films to premiere in Cannes and his first feature to be selected to compete for the Palme d´Or.

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Crew / Technical Info

Festivals

Cannes 2014 - Un Certain Regard

Pressbook

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Year: 
2014
Duration: 
118 min.

Ruben Östlund


Ruben Östlund was born in 1974 in Styrsö, a small island on the West Coast of Sweden. He studied graphic design before enrolling at the University of Gothenburg, where he met Erik Hemmendorff with whom he later founded Plattform Produktion. An avid skier, Östlund directed three ski films, alluding to his taste for long sequence shots, a taste he structured and developed throughout his film studies and which to this day remains an important trademark of his work.

 

 

 

 

Poster: 
Frontpage poster: 
Country: 
Denmark Denmark
France France
Norway Norway
Sweden Sweden
Reviews: 

"Hair-raising (...) plays with the effects of human split-second responses - tracing the emotional aftershocks that come from one decision(...) crosses from the comic and tragic and back again (...) With Force Majeure, the Swedish filmmaker displays an unsparing vision of human nature, gnawed by uncertainty, and ill-served by the instincts that are supposed to protect us"
Nicolas Rapold, THE NEW YORK TIMES

"Visually stunning (...) unsettling psychological thriller (...) of all the satirists working in cinema today, Ostlund displays perhaps the slyest streak of dark humour"
Peter Debruge, VARIETY

"A sardonic, serious, funny, precision-controlled psycho-comedy-drama(...)  One of this superbly directed film's many pleasures is the way Ostlund risks provoking out and out laughs from the midway point on, as the dramatic stakes heighten"
Lee Marshall, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

Trailer / Extracts: 
Synopsis: 

A Swedish family travels to the French Alps to enjoy a few days of skiing and spend some precious time with each other. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but, during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. With diners fleeing in all directions, mother Ebba calls for her husband Tomas as she tries to protect their children. Tomas, meanwhile, is running for his life...Reality returns to embarrassed laughter, the anticipated disaster having failed to occur, and yet the family's world has been shaken to its core. Tomas’ unexpected action leads them to evaluate their roles and assumptions, a question mark hanging over their father in particular. With the end of the holiday approaching, Tomas and Ebba's marriage hangs in the balance as Tomas struggles desperately to reclaim his role as family patriarch. FORCE MAJEURE is an observational comedy about the role of the male in modern family life.

Crew / Technical Info: 

Pressbook: 
Awards: 
Festivals: 

Cannes 2014 - Un Certain Regard

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