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  • Writer's pictureLoren Javier


Updated: Apr 27, 2020

Photo: Searchlight Pictures

Along with 20th Century's Call of the Wild, Disney released early on Digital HD Searchlight Picture's Downhill. This is the first film under the newly renamed studio after Disney dropped the "Fox."

Downhill is a melancholy comedy starring Will Ferrell and Julia-Louis Dryfus as a married couple with problems who decide to take a family skiing trip in German with hopes to heal their marriage. The film is based on the Swedish comedy Force Majeure which, admittedly, I didn't get to see. But, I would be curious to watch it just to compare the two films.

Truth be told, I had a really hard time getting into the movie. I think it's often hard to translate comedy with a European sensibility into an American one. The movie was so bleak and the characters were just really unlikable. But, then, we got to the part where Julia-Louis Dryfus's Billie snaps after her and her children were abandoned by Will Ferrell's Pete when hit by an avalanche. I have always loved Dryfus as a comedian, so this was the first time I had really seen her dramatic chops and I am impressed.

Photo: Searchlight Pictures

After this scene, I was suddenly totally into the movie. I thought the film was such an interesting take on a marriage that I think many people find themselves getting into. I thought that Pete's spit second reaction to run during the avalanche had me wondering what would I do in that situation. It's despicable, yet there was something almost human about it.

I was not a fan of the soundtrack which mainly consisted of women hooting. It was just bizarre, yet something that seems familiar in indie films. But, if you can get past that, there is a nugget of a film that I thought was actually powerful.

The ending is thought provoking for sure where we are once again presented with a "what if" scenario.

I will have to check out Force Majeure on Hulu and see how I feel afterward. But, I did find this version to be interesting and the performances to be strong.

No bonus features accompanied the digital HD release of this film.

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