A Swedish family vacationing at a ski resort in the French Alps are enjoying a nice lunch at a restaurant admiring the beautiful view of the slopes and eating food off each other’s plates. Tomas is a workaholic and spending a little too much time on his phone but overall not a bad family trip so far. Suddenly, a “controlled” avalanche begins to get a little too close for comfort. At first, Tomas reassures his nervous wife Ebba and his panicking son that everything is under control. Then, the avalanche is WAY too close for comfort and Ebba instinctively runs to protect her son and daughter while Tomas instinctively grabs his phone and his gloves, pushes a stranger out of the way and gets the hell out of there. Within seconds, it becomes clear that no one was in any real danger and with some nervous laughter, everyone is enjoying their meals again, with Tomas sheepishly returning to the table as if nothing had happened.
What happens from there is best seen for yourself than read about in some review so I will not give anything away except to say that you should not miss Force Majeure, a strong candidate for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. What happens at the restaurant shakes this family to the core and no one knows what to say or what to feel. Some of the best scenes involve other couples listening to Tomas and Ebba’s very different versions of what happened. Their story seems to wreak havoc on anyone who hears it, leaving them wondering what they (or their partner) would do in the same situation.
This is a thought-provoking film that is a must-see even if just for the fun of arguing about it later. I couldn’t help but put myself in the shoes of every character, wondering what I would do in their ski boots (definitely not run).