Hotel Movies – Force Majeure

Posted 23 April 2015 about Force Majeure.

force majeure

Hotels are strange. They have most things that most homes have: a bed, bathroom, kettle, television, curtains and mirrors but they don’t feel like home. A certain defiance and change in character can be accustomed to the space of a hotel room – from something simple as not making your bed and leaving towels on the floor to feeling like you are relinquished from your usual family responsibility and routine.

No matter how much Jack, Wendy and Danny try and settle in their hotel home for the winter in The Shining, soon the place doesn’t seem big enough for a family unravelling. Barton Fink makes a good go at writing screenplays in Hollywood, residing in a hotel room to focus on his writing but is met with an unstable and needy salesman and dripping wallpaper. Charlotte has one of the most fascinating cities at her feet in Lost in Translation but instead remains isolated behind the glass of her hotel room, stuck in an aquarium of her loneliness. Kevin Macalister probably does it best in Home Alone: Lost in New York but once the mini fridge has been emptied and there’s no one to jump around the huge room with, an ice-cream headache soon sets in when he realises the emptiness of a room without his family.

Many couples and families pack themselves up and whisk off to countries far away from their own, to stay in a pleasant hotel, be close to an interesting location and furthermore to become closer with one another. Force Majeure brings us a tense and dramatic tale of a family under strain with unresolved issues, putting their last hopes in a family holiday. Mountainous landscape, avalanche threats and hotel accommodation are what it takes for Tomas, Ebba, Harry and Vera to finally unleash their long, harbouring anger. Force Majeure is unique in that it doesn’t just use the hotel room; it uses the entire surrounding landscape, making tense character exchanges in an open ski resort feel like you’re locked in a room the size of a cleaning cupboard with screaming relatives.

Hotels play an important location in films, a character even. A space (or a lacking sense of space) that is a catalyst for human interaction or a longing for it. Many stories have been set and told in hotels, a tired and tested method with interesting and entertaining outcomes, suggesting hotels will always have a vacancy for film.


Force Majeure opens on Friday 24th April, 2015

For details of screening times, and to book tickets follow this link

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