Ebba, Tomas and their children Vera and Harry are a happy Swedish family spending some days at a French ski resort. On their second day, while eating at a restaurant, they witness a spectacular, seemingly life-threatening avalanche. Panicked, the father flees, leaving his wife and two children behind. The event leads to extreme tension in the small family, threatening to shatter the trust between the two parents.
"Force Majeure" goes behind the Scandinavian facade and explores what happens when fear triggers basic reactions of panic. Exploring social behavior in the vein of Östlund's previous films "Involuntary" (2008) and "Play" (2011), the film marks the director's third appearance at Cannes.
Warm Cannes Reviews
"Force Majeure" had its world premiere on May 18 in Un Certain Regard at Cannes and was enthusiastically reviewed:
"'Force Majeure' is a frightening film. It brushes off our surface layer, shows us the icy truth underneath."
"Visually stunning even in its most banal moments and emotionally perceptive almost to a fault, the film stands to complicate many a romantic arthouse date."
"A sardonic, serious, funny, precision-controlled psycho-comedy-drama inspired by the selfishness of our survival instincts, Swedish director Ruben Ostlund's fourth feature is his best yet."
"This is another solid and provocative feature from Ostlund, which should extensively slalom down the festival circuit and attract the attention of niche distributors not afraid of films in the conversation-starter mode."
The Hollywood Reporter
According to the Danish co-producer Katja Adomeit, "Force Majeure" pertains to us all:
"For me the film is about human behavior and how funny, sensitive, absurd and pathetic we sometimes are. I don't know of any other director who manages to portray human relations so grotesquely and yet so genuinely."
Working on a larger scale
German-born Katja Adomeit joined the team of "Force Majeure" when Philippe Bober, owner of the Coproduction Office, contacted her in 2012.
"What I did was handle the Danish end of the financing, and I coordinated everything taking place in Denmark production-wise – such as the postproduction."
"It's a bigger movie than any of my previous projects in terms of budget, production and postproduction. I've learned a lot about financing and I've been privileged to work with some of the best Nordic producers," says Adomeit.
Editor on "Force Majeure" is the Dane Jacob Schulsinger who also worked with Östlund on "Play".
Adomeit produced Daniel Joseph Borgman's Danish-New Zealand feature debut "The Weight of Elephants" (2013) which premiered in Berlin, and "Pine Ridge" (2013), selected for the Venice Film Festival. As a director, Adomeit has the short films "Little Night Hunter" (2012) and "Not at Home" (2013) under her belt.
"Force Majeure"' is produced by Plattform Produktion and Philippe Bober and co-produced by Katja Adomeit for Coproduction Office in Denmark.
How to Co-produce with Denmark