Force Majeure to be remade in the US

Force Majeure
Force Majeure

We are getting tired of remakes. Just recently it was announced that the Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In is going to be turned into a American television series, and today we have found articles stating that the Swedish mega-hit Force Majeure is going to be turned into an American film.

We can understand why. It’s a great film. It won a record amount of awards at the Swedish Oscars, as well as the Jury Prize in Cannes. We loved it – so much so we’ve written about it in our magazine again and again.

Heading this news today is incredibly annoying. Force Majeure was just released a year ago. It’s not even out on DVD yet. And already people are so eager to turn it into an American movie. Here’s what the Hollywood Reporter is saying:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is in negotiations to star in a remake of Force Majeure, whose rights were just picked up by Fox Searchlight, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Majeure is the award-winning Swedish drama that tells of a family staying in a resort in the French Alps. An avalanche threatens the resort and the father, in an act of selfish cowardice, deserts his family. When the avalanche passes and the family is safely reunited, the man’s actions create a deep fissure in the unit that might not be repaired.

The movie, written and directed by Ruben Ostlund, swept the Swedish version of the Oscars, the Guldbagge Awards, and also won the Un Certain Regard jury prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. It was also nominated for best foreign film at this year’s Golden Globes.

No director or writers are attached at this stage. Sources say Louis-Dreyfus will also be involved as a producer.

The move is a bit of a departure for Louis-Dreyfus, who is better known for her acclaimed work in the comedy field; her show Veep returns for its fourth season in April. Her movies, such as 2013’s well-regarded Enough Said, in which she starred opposite James Gandolfini, have showcased her more dramatic side.

Seriously, how hard is it to enjoy a film with subtitles? A large part of the reason we loved Force Majeure so much is because of its accurate portrayal of Swedish society. It works because the characters are so quintessential Scandinavian, and Ostlund is known to use societal issues as the focus of his films. It just works. How can this film work in America?

The general public need to stop being so scared of subtitles. Foreign cinema is such an amazingly unique and wonderful arena, and it doesn’t translate well into English. Force Majeure will prove this.

We’ll keep our ears out, but we sure hope nothing comes of this. Go and watch Force Majeure this weekend and support the great thing that is Scandinavian cinema!

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Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.

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