A Swedish family travels to the French Alps to enjoy a few days of skiing. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but, during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. With diners fleeing in all directions, mother Ebba calls for her husband Tomas as she tries to protect their children. Tomas, meanwhile, is running for his life... The anticipated disaster failed to occur, and yet the family's world has been shaken to its core, a question mark hanging over their father in particular. Tomas and Ebba's marriage now hangs in the balance as Tomas struggles desperately to reclaim his role as family patriarch.Written by
Cannes Film Festival
Official submission of Sweden to the best foreign language film category of the 87th Academy Awards 2015. Made the shortlist of 9 films. See more »
At about 1.50 minutes in as the bus is going down the switch backs, as they approach the final switchback the bus gets stuck on the retaining wall is solid. When the passengers get off and watch the bus back up the wall is crenelated concrete. See more »
There's nothing in your head that you haven't said!
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Greetings again from the darkness. No one has sung the words "I'm a MAN" better than the great Muddy Waters, but even he would have been unable to bounce back from the ramifications of the split-second reaction of Tomas when things go awry at lunch.
Writer/director Ruben Ostland delivers an intriguing and thought-provoking look at gender roles and the definition and expectations of masculinity, especially within a family. What makes a real man? What is a hero? Is our predilection of survivalist or protector hard-wired into our DNA? And what happens to a relationship when the foundation of respect crumbles? Would you believe this film tackles these emotional issues, and does so in such a brilliant manner, that we often find ourselves chuckling (albeit with a tinge of guilt)?
A family vacation in the French Alps takes a turn when, while lunching on a veranda overlooking the ski slopes, a controlled avalanche goes wrong and the café is threatened. Tomas (Johannes Bah Kuhnke) grabs his phone and goes scurrying for protection, while his wife Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli) covers the kids and calls for his help. Both are instinctive reactions, and while one recalls George in a "Seinfeld" episode, the other is more in line with what we expect from a parent.
While the avalanche turns out harmless and the family members are physically fine, the emotional shockwaves of Tomas' actions reverberate through the family ... and even through another couple (Kristofer Hivju, Fanni Metelius). There is a exceptional dinner scene with the two couples which brings the issue to a head, and it's excruciatingly painful and funny to witness. It's terrific story telling and filmmaking and acting.
This is Sweden's submission for Best Foreign Language Oscar, and it must be considered a favorite so far. Though I'm not a huge fan of the final 15 minutes, that doesn't take away from the questions as the characters try to come to grips with the situation. Really nice contrasts between dark humor, disappointment and broken trust.
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