The trailer for the movie Downhill was released just before the holidays and it promises what I’ve long sought in a major Hollywood picture: a ski town.
Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus headline this comedy that is summed up by its creators like this:
Barely escaping an avalanche during a family ski vacation in the Alps, a married couple is thrown into disarray as they are forced to reevaluate their lives and how they feel about each other.IMDb.com – Downhill (2020)
The film is directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (the Dean from Community) and was written by Faxon, Rash and Succession showrunner Jesse Armstrong, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The studio says it was filmed in Austria starting in January 2019.
It’s a FOX Searchlight remake of the Swedish film, Force Majeure. The American version also features Zach Woods (The Office, Silicon Valley), Miranda Otto (Homeland, Lord of the Rings) and Game of Thrones‘ Kristofer Hivju!
Woven together with drone shots of skiers arching corduroy turns in the mountains is the plot line of Ferrell and Louis-Dreyfus’ eroding marriage. The turning point appears to be when a man-made patrol avalanche gets a little out of control and threatens a patio the family is sitting on, which causes Ferrell to flee with his phone.
Louis-Dreyfus’ character also appears to have another potential love interest as Ferrell desperately tries to salvage the vacation and the relationship.
Just from the cast alone, I was going to watch this film. Add to it the subject matter and this is likely a night one theater experience for me.
Prediction: The critics will pan this one. They won’t like it. I don’t know a lot of critics who admire the comedy stylings of Ferrell or who like ski culture. So, this won’t scratch their critical itches.
I am hoping it’s a barrel of laughs that mines the hilarity of the ski experience for all the comedy it can.
Go see it for yourself when it hits theaters Valentine’s Day. It will premiere at Sundance Film Festival, which begins Jan. 23.
Midwest Ski Journal will have a review for you shortly after it hits theaters.