Thursday, February 13, 2020
Downhill - 2 1/2 Stars - Opens February 14, 2020
Remake of the biting Swedish unraveling marriage story "Force Majeure" with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell threading the needle between laughs and disappointment. The snappy 82 minute running time helps. 2 1 /2 Stars Rated "R"
Ironically, the week after the international film "Parasite" won the Best Picture Oscar, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell star in an Americanized remake of a far better foreign film from Sweden. In "Downhill," a wealthy American family spare no expense on a ski vacation in the Alps. Relaxing on a terrace preparing to order soup, a sudden planned avalanche gets out of control unexpectedly smothering the diners in white powder. Julia emerges from the onslaught holding tight to her two sons, preparing to die. Will Ferrell has run for his life, leaving the other three to fend for themselves. He returns, sits down, and orders soup. For the remainder of the story, the couple and their sons deal with the rather large elephant in the room, the cowardly reaction of their husband and father. Julia-Louis-Dreyfus, and Will Ferrell thread the needle between comedy and her recognition of his weakness and desperate attempts to hide them. "Downhill" plays out in an easy to take 82 minutes. Those who saw the original Swedish version, "Force Majeure," will find this toothless, sort of like what might happen if there's an American remake of "Parasite."