Time Out says
At first glance, this seems a slightly amorphous conceit, but director Ruben Östlund’s single-shot scenes supply their own beady-eyed concentration, encouraging us to work a bit more. Little by little, it becomes clear the vignettes are chosen to illustrate the fault lines in everyday behaviour. We might think we act out of moral conviction or codes of social propriety, but at what point does peer pressure exert an undue influence? And how to explain spontaneity or just rank stupidity? The staging and acting are utterly believable, encouraging the viewer to put themselves inside each dilemma, yet the characters’ heat-of-the-moment choices also outline the filmmaker’s view of Swedish society – viewed as a matrix of smug self-interest and unthinking consensus. Does he mean us too? That Östlund achieves this without resorting to the shocks or embittered misanthropy of a Lars von Trier or an Ulrich Seidl is impressive. His film is the product of tough-love, arresting, unexpected and worth your time.
Cast and crew