Sunday, 1 March 2015

Glasgow Film Festival: Closing Gala - Force Majeure

The 2015 Glasgow Film Festival drew to a close this evening with their Gala film premiere of the Oscar-nominated Swedish film Force Majeure.

Described by Festival Co-Director Allan Gardner as "Bergman on skis", this is a darkly comic story that sees a family nearly torn apart due to the actions (or inactions) of the father during a crisis.

While on a skiing holiday in France, a family witness an avalanche. As it rolls towards them, the dad makes a run for it while the mother protects the children.

No one is hurt but the damage is done as the relationship between Tomas and Ebba begins to crack and fracture when Tomas is unwilling to admit that he ran away.

It becomes a battle of the sexes with a rich vein of black humour running through its heart as family arguments broaden out to bring in friends and they are forced to pick sides.

For a while, it looked like the film was snowballing towards a bleak ambiguous ending with no real resolution (because let's face it, sometimes an argument is never really finished. How many times has something you've done in the past been brought up against you?) but the optimists out there will see potential for redemption.

It is a film that is guaranteed to generate debate/discussion/arguments on leaving the screen as to what you would do or what you think others would do in that situation.

Snow joking around, Force Majeure is a darkly comic force to be reckoned with.

4 stars

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