AWFJ Movie of the Week, Oct. 20-26: FORCE MAJEURE

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Opening Oct. 24, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Force Majeure, Swedish writer-director Ruben Ostlund’s dark comedy about a family skiing trip that goes horribly awry. The picture-perfect foursome are enjoying lunch one day when a controlled avalanche threatens to put them in serious danger. While the snow stops short, however, the reactions of the family’s patriarch, Tomas (Johannesburg Kuhnke) reveal a cold, hard truth about his priorities, which creates an almighty schism between himself and his wife (Lisa Loven Kogsli). As their arguments about what exactly happened escalate, the dynamic of their shifting relationship become utterly fascinating to behold. Read on…

That Force Majeure is Sweden’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language category at next year’s Oscars is an indication of its quality, and international critics are united in their praise of this deliciously dark comedy. Running the gamut of emotion, from fear and cowardice to guilt and revenge, the film’s intelligent script and cracking performances play out against that stunning Alpine scenery to bewitching effect.

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:

Pam Grady: A thrilling avalanche sequence is just one of the many pleasures in Ruben Ostlund’s gorgeous and bewitching Force Majeure, a drama that tracks a marital implosion when a husband’s cowardice and self-absorption are exposed during a family’s Alps skiing holiday.

Anne Brodie: Force Majeure is one of those great black comedies that has you rooting for the “bad” guy, in this case, the husband who runs for his life when an avalanche threatens to swallow up his family. Seriously, its a gold mine of guilt, anger, embarrassment, awkward pauses and turning tables.

Film Details:

Title: Force Majeure
Director: Ruben Ostlund
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Running Time: 118 minutes
Language: Swedish and English
Principal Cast: Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren
Screenwriter: Ruben Ostlund
Production Company: Coproduction Office (co-production), Film i Väst (in co-production with), Plattform Produktion, Rhône-Alpes Cinéma (co-production)
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Official Website

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, MaryAnn Johanson, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Rebecca Murray, Kristy Puchko, Carrie Rickey, Sheila Roberts, Jeanne Wolf, Sara Vizcarrando.

Other Movies Opening the Week of Oct. 20-24, 2014:

October 24
– 1,000 Times Goodnight (limited)
– CITIZENFOUR (limited)
– Exists (limited)
– Force Majeure (limited)
– Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me (limited)
– The Heart Machine (NY)
– John Wick (2D theaters and IMAX)
– Laggies (NY, LA, Seattle; expands October 31)
– Life of Riley (limited)
– Low Down (NY; LA release date: October 31)
– Ouija
– Revenge of the Green Dragons (limited)
– Stonehearst Asylum (limited)
– White Bird in a Blizzard (limited)

Edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, Associate Editor

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Nikki Baughan

Nikki Baughan is a London-based freelance film critic and features writer. Formerly editor of both Film Review and movieScope magazines, Nikki is currently contributes to various print and online publications, including Screen International, BFI, The List and Film Divider.