Movie Review: 'Downhill' Delivers Black Diamond Level Family Drama


photos: FOX/SEARCHLIGHT

Downhill is the first collaboration of comedy greats Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell. The two

SNL alums play Billie and Pete, a married couple taking their family on a ski vacation in Austria.

This adaptation of 2014’s comedy drama Force Majeure brings more drama than one might

expect from a Louis-Dreyfus and Ferrell partnership. Though it is not a thriller, fear is the

motivating emotion for Billie, Pete, and their two sons. Early in the film the family finds

themselves in the path of an avalanche. How Billie and Pete respond to this threat sets the story

in motion.

In the wake of their snowy trauma the family copes poorly by acting out both unintentionally and

intentionally sabotaging each other’s vacation plans for family fun. It is clear this family is

normally filled with joy and love, but the avalanche has cast a cloud that no one seems

interested in escaping.

While not a true comedy, Downhill is an honest portrayal of human vulnerability. We can either

wrap up in our fear and stay home or we can dare to hit the expert slopes with courage. Which

do you choose when feelings of vulnerability take hold?

Downhill is rated R for language, some sexual content, and it will bore your kids to death.

Angie Bosio is a guest film critic, mastered in film studies at the University of Kansas, has co-written over a dozen dramas and musicals in Nashville. Angie also reviews films from a Catholic perspective for Nashville Catholic Radio.