‘Force Majeure’ Remake Eyes Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Has Our Full Attention
One of the absolute best films last year was Ruben Ostlund’s Force Majeure, a Swedish dark comedy dealing with marital dynamics. As with most great foreign films, the rights to Force Majeure have been acquired for a U.S. remake (insert eye roll), but there’s hope for this one yet: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is being sought for the leading role, and if you’ve seen Ostlund’s original, you’ll recognize this as some seriously genius casting.
THR reports that Fox Searchlight is eyeing the Veep star for the leading matriarch role, originated by the intensely great Lisa Loven Kongsli. Louis-Dreyfus would also produce the remake, which doesn’t have a writer or director attached at this time. Force Majeure is one the studio really needs to get right — great script, great director and a perfect cast to nail the film’s specific tone, a contemplative blend of dark humor and depth of character.
The original Force Majeure follows a French family on vacation in the French Alps. While sitting down for a nice lunch outdoors on a seemingly perfect day, an avalanche tumbles down the mountain toward the ski resort. The mother, Ebba, grabs her two children to protect and cover them, while the father, Tomas, grabs his cell phone and runs inside the building, abandoning his family entirely. What follows is a compelling and humorous examination of the way fear and imminent danger abruptly bring out our true selves — and what happens when you discover that your spouse isn’t the person you thought you knew.
Louis-Dreyfus is more than capable of taking on the Ebba role, which requires a powerfully fierce actress who can vacillate easily between a nurturing caregiver to her children to disdainful of her cowardly husband. Kongsli’s performance in the original Force Majeure is insanely good, and there are few American actresses I can think of who could come remotely close to filling her shoes on this.