Force Majeure (2014)
One of the biggest surprises for me so far this year. A Swedish family drama set in the French Alps, Force Majeure is not only expertly directed and acted, it also brilliantly dissects modern-day masculinity in the shape of a white-collar dad. The entire movie is uncomfortable, if not painful to watch for all the right reasons: director Ruben Östlund has just enough sympathy for his protagonist to make you feel sorry for him without wanting to protest ‘today’s emasculation of man by evil Scandinavian feminists’. Well, I guess that depends on your reading of the movie.
Regardless of where you may side politically, Force Majeure poses exciting questions: about the comfort and fragility of traditional gender roles, about the value of family, and about priorities in life as in the face of imminent death. I recommend watching this movie with some befriended couples and a few bottles of red wine. Then afterwards have an animated discussion about it, which will undoubtedly leave some hurt, insecure and/or paranoid. Let the fun begin!