We Don’t Need a Force Majeure Remake, But If We Must, This One Sounds Great Already

By  · Published on March 27th, 2015

For some strange reason it wasn’t nominated for the Oscar, but Force Majeure is one of our top two favorite foreign language films of last year. In fact, it’s one of our top five movies of 2014 of any kind. So, we’re not really thinking there’s any need for an English-language remake from Hollywood. There’s no way we’re going to even bother to see it. What could they possibly do to make us interested in such redundancy? Oh, they’re getting Julia Louis-Dreyfus to star as the wife? She’s also going to produce the movie? Okay, umm, I think maybe we can give this thing a shot.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox Searchlight has picked up the rights to redo the Swedish movie, which was written and directed by Ruben Ostlund and follows a family’s ski vacation, during which the dad panics during an avalanche scare and abandons his wife and kids. The funny thing about Louis-Dreyfus being on board is that the movie reminded many of us of an episode of Seinfeld, in which George Costanza (Jason Alexander) panics and flees selfishly during a fire alarm at a birthday party. In fact, someone went and made this:

I assume in casting Louis-Dreyfus that Fox Searchlight recognizes the comedic brilliance of Force Majeure, but will the remake actually accomplish that very difficult humor that Ostlund achieved? It’s not the plot or what’s on the page that necessarily makes the movie but the tone that Ostlund brings through his direction. I’m not normally one for foreign filmmakers doing the Hollywood remakes of their own movies, but in this case he might be the only man for the job.

Among the original Force Majeure’s other accolades, we’ll toot our own horn that it was named best foreign language film by the Austin Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Film Critics Association, both of which include FSR editors as members. I also think I had a good hand in nominating Lisa Loven Kongsli, whose part will now be presumably filled by Louis-Dreyfus, for Best Actress as a member of the Georgia Film Critics Association. Yeah, even with a great talent on board this remake has a lot to live up to.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.