Does the family vacation in the commercials ever seem like an accurate representation of what actually happens? Sure, it looks like everybody is having a great time at Disney World, but off-camera that’s a completely different story. Even if you’re not looking for it, if you go on a big vacation with small children, you will run into drama.

There’s always that one conflict and in “Force Majeure,” you get to see the psychological break-down of a marriage. Remember kids, don’t forget to have fun!

Sarah Morrison / Equinox Staff

Sarah Morrison / Equinox Staff

  Where better to go skiing, than in the French Alps with your family. Tomas [Johannes Kuhnke], his wife Ebba [Lisa Loven Kongsli] and his two children Harry [Vincent Wettergren] and Vera [Clara Wettergren] expected a soothing and relaxing week. That all changes though, when, during a meal on the balcony outside, an avalanche occurs.

Tomas has a natural reaction to the avalanche that sets off a trigger in Ebba’s head. The natural occurrence of snow falling affects the family’s trip in such a negative way to the point where she begins to resent him.

After hearing how this film was snubbed in the Best Foreign Film category at the Academy Awards, naturally I was curious.

If I never watch this movie again, the shot of the avalanche will never fade from my memory. It’s a shot that lasts over three minutes and never moves, leaving you trapped along with the characters.

It’s because of moments like these that I truly love film. For a couple of minutes, you feel immersed into this world. Isn’t that why we go to the cinema in the first place?

Besides that iconic shot, the entire film is immaculate to look at throughout. The sets are supposed to make you feel warm and comfortable, yet there’s a sense of dread lingering over the family when they’re at the resort.

My warning is to not watch “Force Majeure” with your significant other. If you do, expect a long conversation once it’s over. You’re basically watching a marriage crumble because of an impulsive reaction to an immediate threat.

These scenes feel believable because the actors are doing a great job. The awkwardness of arguing at the table with friends right across from you is present and realistic.

Honestly, it gets you thinking what you would have done in his situation. I want to discuss it here, but I feel like it would spoil the enjoyment of seeing it for yourself.

My only real gripe with the film is that with very little story, there isn’t enough to fill a two-hour running time.

I felt like they could have picked-up the pace in some scenes. Other than that, “Force Majeure” is a decent little film. The wintery cinematography will blow you away as you watch this family vacation turn uncomfortable real fast.

Rating: B

Matt Bilodeau can be contacted at

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