Force Majeure (2014)

aka Turist

2015 #174
Ruben Östlund | 120 mins | streaming (HD) | 2.35:1 | Sweden, France, Norway & Denmark / Swedish, English, French & Norwegian | 15 / R

During a near-miss on a skiing holiday, a dad abandons his wife and kids. Cue days of passive-aggressive familial angst.

At its best, writer-director Ruben Östlund’s YouTube-inspired film (seriously — look at IMDb’s trivia) is a droll dark comedy. Told in wisely-deployed long takes that benefit the cast, there’s also gorgeous photography and a dramatic score courtesy of Vivaldi’s Summer.

Other times, it’s too languorous and arthouse-y for my taste. Compare Rotten Tomatoes to viewer opinions elsewhere and you see a fissure in opinion Maybe removing some longueurs would’ve made it something regular viewers could enjoy as much as critics.

4 out of 5

Force Majeure is available on Netflix UK as of last Sunday.

This drabble review is part of the 100 Films Advent Calendar 2015. Read more here.

Wallander 2 (or 6) and 3 (or 13)

If you read my review of the first episode/film of the Swedish Wallander, Before the Frost, back in November, you may have some idea what that title’s on about. For the rest, I’ll try to explain it succinctly:

There are multiple TV/movie series based on Henning Mankell’s detective Kurt Wallander. This particular one, begun in 2005, features an adaptation of one novel (Before the Frost) followed by twelve original stories. Of these thirteen feature-length episodes, three were released theatrically — episodes one, six and thirteen (the rest went direct to DVD, and later TV) — and, because of their initial cinema release, I’ve reviewed those three as part of my objective. Having published the first last November, this pair of reviews covers the second film (or sixth episode) and the third film (or thirteenth episode).

I hope that makes some kind of sense…

2009 #88
Wallander: Mastermind

Mastermind works to earn its status as a theatrical release, everyone upping their game to provide something more filmic than the other direct-to-DVD entries in the series.” Read more…

2010 #12
Wallander: The Secret

The Secret‘s not quite as filmic as Mastermind. Making it personal for one of the team is always a good way to make A Bigger Story, and there are some particularly large revelations and twists involved here.” Read more…


A second series of the Swedish Wallander comes to BBC Four soon. This time, only the first episode — The Revenge (Hämnden) — has received a theatrical release, though to date only nine (of thirteen) episodes have been released at all (according to IMDb, the remainder are due for release in Sweden in March, April, June and July; I don’t know if BBC Four are screening all thirteen in one go regardless). I will, of course, continue to cover the series’ cinema-released episodes as I see them.