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Freeze Out: Ruben Östlund on Force Majeure

Ruben Östlund (Photo by Johan Bergmark)

Amidst the red-carpet mayhem of any major international film festival, critics tend to adopt a sort of cinematic shorthand — a private language of allusions and descriptors. It didn’t take long for Force Majeure to earn its seemingly ready-made sobriquet: “the avalanche movie,” further confirmed by the film’s theatrical poster. Force Majeure does indeed revolve around an avalanche — a controlled blast in the mountains of a ski resort in the French Alps, watched by a vacationing Swedish family with awe until, as it hurtles its way toward the restaurant terrace where they are enjoying their breakfast, awe suddenly curdles […]

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